Capellini Pomodoro and Garlic Bread (31 Days: Day 7)

I love Olive Garden's Capellini Pomodoro. A lot. So much that I got on their website and looked up their recipe. But fresh tomatoes can be expensive certain times of the year, so I modified their recipe to use canned tomatoes. If you want the original Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro recipe, go here.

This recipe for Capellini Pomodoro will serve 6-8 people, and twelve pieces of garlic bread should serve six people. It barely served the four of us. We're pigs. We're ok with that.

For my version of this dish, you will need six cans of petite diced tomatoes, a few cloves of garlic, a box of angel hair pasta, olive oil, dried basil, salt and pepper.

(I know, the picture has thin spaghetti in it. I was out of angel hair pasta, so I used this instead. It works. Regular spaghetti or fettuccine would be an acceptable substitute, also. Any really thin and long pasta would work.)

Fill a large pot with water and put it on to boil. While you wait on the water, open and drain your tomatoes. You don't want a lot of juice in this dish.

My bowl was exactly as deep as my colander, so I placed a small bowl, upside down, in my mixing bowl under my colander so it would drain correctly.

When your pasta water is boiling, add your noodles.

Throw the tomatoes, a few cloves of minced garlic, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper into a skillet over medium heat.

Check and stir your pasta. To test your pasta to see if it is cooked correctly, gently throw a few noodles on the wall, ceiling, or fridge when you think it's done. (Yes, I'm serious here. I worked with a man of Italian descent who told me this is the true way to tell if spaghetti-shaped pasta is cooked to the correct firmness. You just have to throw it at a smooth surface. Swear.) If it sticks, it's cooked perfectly. (As the pasta cools, it should fall off of whatever you threw it on.) Drain your pasta. Toss it with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking together. While you're at it, stir your tomatoes, too.

See? Mine is done. I told you I throw pasta across the kitchen when I cook. Well, fettuccini or spaghetti-shaped pasta, anyway.

For the garlic bread, you're gonna need another few cloves of garlic, some butter, basil, and slices of bread. The bread can be French bread, Texas toast, white bread, hamburger buns, whatever. Seriously, hamburger buns make delicious garlic bread. Try it. You'll like it. (Anyone know what movie I just quoted?) Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mince the garlic and add it to a few heaping spoonfuls of butter. Add in a bit of dried basil. Stir it up.

I'm using some of my homemade white bread for the garlic bread. I need to use it up so I can bake more to post for you guys. That's twelve slices of bread on my cutting board.

Slather your bread with the garlic butter.

Pop it in the oven for a few minutes, until it's all toasty and good. While you're waiting on your bread, taste your tomatoes to see if they need any more of your spices, and adjust if necessary.

To serve, place noodles on a plate. Top with hot tomatoes. Serve garlic bread alongside. (The Olive Garden recipe says to toss the tomatoes and pasta in a skillet and saute until heated through. You could do that to each serving if you want. I'm too lazy and ready to eat to do all that extra work.)

This is so good. After the four of us ate, I had enough leftovers for three or four more servings of pasta. All the garlic bread got eaten.

Did you know capellini pomodoro translates to tomato angel hair pasta in English? Yes? Ok. We'll get on with it, then.

Here's the recipe recap:

Capellini Pomodoro
6 (14 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes
14 ounces angel hair (capellini) pasta
three or four cloves garlic, minced (depending on the size of the cloves)
6 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.

2. Drain tomatoes.

3. Add tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper to a skillet. Saute over medium heat.

4. Serve tomatoes over pasta.

Garlic Bread
8-10 slices bread
3-4 cloves garlic, minced (depending on the size of your cloves)
4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon basil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Add garlic and basil to butter. Mix well.

3. Spread butter over bread. Place on baking sheet.

4. Bake at 350 degrees 5-10 minutes, or until bread is toasted.

That's it, folks. Easy take out made at home.

Question of the day: What's your favorite pasta dish?


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