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Quick and Easy Summer Pasta

Quite honestly, this just might be the easiest dish that will hit your table the whole summer — and one of the most flavorful. With cherry tomatoes and basil bursting in bounty, this weekday meal goes from garden to table in no time. Serve it paired with a glass of 2014 Grafter Central Coast Pinot Grigio and take the rest of the night off. Go ahead, you've earned it!

Ingredients: (serves 2)
  • 8 ounces capellini or thin spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or use 2 cloves roasted garlic)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, some left whole, some sliced in half *
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, leaves picked and torn
  • Fresh Parmesan for grating
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper to taste

* Using a variety of colors and kinds of cherry tomatoes will add to the flavor and beauty of this simple dish.

Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, reserving 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta liquid before draining.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat until it is shimmering. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 to 40 seconds. Toss in the sliced and whole tomatoes, stirring to coat. Reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the skins start to blister and some of the juice from the sliced tomatoes coats the bottom of the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water, tossing with tongs to incorporate.

Remove from heat, add the torn basil leaves, and grate fresh Parmesan on top. Add salt and pepper to taste, and toss everything to mix.

Plate the pasta into individual bowls, drizzle with additional olive oil, and finish with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper and some additional Parmesan.

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