Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pasta Ponza

Oh my! I think I have just found my new favorite quick & easy pasta dish! It's definitely in the top 3 anyway! This recipe comes from Giada de Laurentiis of Food Network. Tomatoes, capers and cheese...that's really about it...what more do ya need? My 16 month old polished off an entire plate, my husband had seconds and my 10 year old had three helpings! That's enough to make me want to make this dish pretty often. I couldn't find yellow tomatoes so I used all red, I used rotini instead of ziti and I used fresh basil instead of parsley. Next time, I'll half the recipe because a pound of pasta is way too much for my family. It would be the perfect amount for a dinner party though.
What You'll Need:
Butter for greasing
2 cups (12 ounces) red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups (12 ounces) yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 cup Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs
1 pound ziti or other short tube-shaped pasta
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 ounces) Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

What You'll Do:
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.

Place the tomatoes, capers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in the prepared baking dish. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzle the top with olive oil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

Place the pasta in a large serving bowl. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the pasta. Add the cheese and toss well. Thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.

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