Tag Archives: Pasta

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Basil Over Spaghetti Rigati

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Basil Over Spaghetti Rigati

What up people?, I’m back! Intended to take the summer off from blogging, but turned into half the fall too, my bad. No worries though, I had my sidearm locked and loaded to capture any impromptu cooking.

For a little summer reading I picked up, A Tuscan in the Kitchen: Recipes and Tales from My Home. Helped reinforce the idea that cooking is about creativity and the freedom to improvise, not necessarily exactness – unless you’re whipping up a souffle or something. So here’s to less measurements and more freedom, just don’t burn the garlic!

Moving on…let’s talk about this pasta dish I whipped up the other night. It just so happened that I had a ridiculous amount of cherry tomatoes lining my windowsill, ready to be used, and basil overflowing in the garden.

Let’s get to it.

Printable Recipe:


Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Basil Over Spaghetti Rigati

ripe cherry tomatoes – slice in half – toss into a baking dish

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Basil Over Spaghetti Rigati

tear up all of the fresh basil – toss half in with tomatoes

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Basil Over Spaghetti Rigati

add in olive oil, sherry wine, garlic, s&p – mix it all up

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Basil Over Spaghetti Rigati

roast @ 450F for about 30 mins – stir a few times  so nothing burns

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Basil Over Spaghetti Rigati

spaghetti will take about 5-7mins,  cook pasta when tomatoes are almost done

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Basil Over Spaghetti Rigati

when tomatoes finish leave in roasting dish and toss in remainder of fresh basil and a handful of pecorino romano – drain pasta – save 1C pasta water – scoop pasta in roasting dish – mix it all up – you want it saucy, so if dry add in pasta water a lil at a time

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Basil Over Spaghetti Rigati
mix well – you wanna get all the sauce stuck on the pasta – serve with more pecorino romano and fresh cracked black pepper – if you have an aversion to tomato skin than pulse the sauce when it’s finished in a food processor or put it through a food mill – don’t ever say I didn’t try to help…

enjoy, this pasta is muy yum


Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup, actually, has nothing to do with weddings. The name was born out of a misunderstanding of the Italian translation minestra maritata–married soup, referring to the joining together of meat and veggies. It might not have anything to do with weddings, but HOLY Mary, Jesus, and Joseph is this soup good. Mazel Tov. I’m talking, you’re halfway through the bowl and realize your almost done and say to yourself, “slow down” kinda good.

I drew inspiration for my version of Italian Wedding Soup from Ina Garten and memories of meals past. I decided to make some significant tweaks which, from the sounds and expressions coming from my Wife and friend Mike, lead me to believe were successful.

This soup is hearty, healthy, and perfect on a cold winter evening. Serve up with a generous sprinkle of grated Pecorino Romano, a couple twists of the ‘ol pepper mill, some crusty bread, and a big glass of vino!

–Recipe Pictorial–

Here I use the cross hatch technique for dicing onions, pronto

Mash your roasted garlic into a paste

Add to your EVOO+butter

Sauté 1 min

Then throw in your chopped carrots, onion, and celery and sauté for 10 mins covered. Stir after 5

Veggies will be tender

Now, add all of your stock and wine

Bring to a boil for 1 min. Reduce to simmer

Then, add the tomatoes. Crush with back of wooden spoon in pot

Toss in your bay leaf and tomato paste, stir

Now’s a good time to add s&p, taste

After tasting decide if you need a lil garlic powder

Simmer for 10mins, uncovered

Toss in a bunch of those lil round meatballs and stir

Cook for, you guessed it, 1min

Now, dump carefully add pasta to hot simmering broth and cook to al dente, about 6 mins

Stir! Or pasta will stick to bottom of pot

Pasta will thicken the soup. Add a little water to thin

Hey, I said it was hearty

Go nuts with the spinach, add as much or as little as you want

Simmer until spinach wilts, don’t over cook it

Taste and adjust for seasoning

I added a little salt and more crushed black pepper at this point

Go grab some nice deep bowls and plate

I garnished with grated Pecorino, fresh parsley, and more crushed black pepper

Scoop, moan, exclaim your love for me…repeat.

When you here the sound of silverware hitting porcelain, Go for seconds!


4C Beef Broth

4C Chicken Broth (I use Pacific Organic from Costco for both broths)

1C Chopped carrots (I used baby carrots. I have a giant bag. Note- don’t buy carrots at Costco)

1C Yellow onion diced

2 Celery stalks

8 Cloves roasted garlic OR 3-4 cloves minced fresh garlic

1 28oz can San Marzano plum tomatoes

1T Tomato paste

1/4t garlic powder

1 Bay leaf

2t Kosher salt

2T EVOO + 1T Butter

1/4 C Dry Sherry cooking wine

1lb Ditalini pasta

1/2 Bag chicken and sweet basil meatballs (Costco) or make a quick batch of little meatballs and bake

1 Bag baby spinach

Chopped fresh parsley

Pecorino Romano

Crushed black pepper

Crushed red pepper (optional)

This soup is hearty, healthy, and perfect on a cold winter evening. Serve up with a generous sprinkle of grated Pecorino Romano, a couple twists of the ‘ol pepper mill, some crusty bread, and a big glass of vino!

Macaroni & Broccoli

Here’s a classic to kick things off. Pasta dressed with broccoli sautéed in olive oil perfumed with fresh & roasted garlic and simmered in a light broth with white wine and crushed red pepper. Topped with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and served with a crisp cold glass of Chardonnay. Off the hook! Food porn pics below.

Get about 6 cloves of garlic – 3 fresh/3 roasted and smash. No dice!

Toss the garlic in and saute in about 2T evoo and 1T butter until fresh garlic starts to brown.

Don’t burn!

Once nicely browned, remove from oil and set aside.

When cool dice ’em up and you have garlic crunchies.


Drink add 1/2 cup good quality white vino and 1 cup chicken broth.

Bring it to a boil real quick to burn off the devil. Reduce to moderate heat.

Toss in about 4 cups steamed broccoli florets and stir.

(Oh and if you haven’t done this already, boil a pot of salted H20 for your pasta)

Stir in a couple tablespoons of grated Parmesan.

Taste broth and add s&p and/or garlic powder.

Hover and inhale pure goodness.

Add about a ladle full of pasta water. Taste broth and adjust for seasoning.

(I usually add a little Parmesan, kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder @ this pt.)

Go ahead and begin plating with a little broccoli on bottom.

When pasta is Al Dente add to bowl.

And top off with more broccoliciousness.

Sprinkle with garlic crunchies, Parmesan, crushed red pepper, and drizzle a little evoo.

Now go for thirds seconds!

Healthy(er) Variation:

Substitute regular pasta for whole grain or rice pasta.

Use a low sodium chicken broth

Add cubed plain chicken before you add broccoli and simmer until cooked. Then go ahead with recipe.

Take it easy with the grated cheese.

Set up an electric fence around the leftovers.