My mom didn’t cook very often when we were growing up but she had one pasta dish that we swooned over. I remember my first time living on my own, after college. I called her up and asked her how to make “that pasta”. I have made it regularly since then and wowed several roommates and even won Pat’s heart with it (okay maybe not just the pasta alone). It’s one of the meals Pat requests that we eat often. I’ve never had a strict “recipe” for it until I decided to document it myself. So here you go, in all its glory. Be warned, it’s pretty addicting.
1 pound capellini pasta or angel hair pasta
2.5 pounds Roma tomatoes, diced
3.8 ounce can (or two smaller cans) sliced black olives
4-5 cloves of garlic (adjust for your garlic preference), minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the pot
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or two if you like to feel the burn)
1-2 teaspoon sea salt flakes (more to taste), I like Maldon Sea SaltFlakes
1 cup fresh chopped basil (dry basil will not work as a substitute)
½ cup crumbled feta cheese & extra basil for serving
*to make this vegan leave out the feta cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add salt and olive oil to the pot. Follow the cooking instructions on the package for the pasta. Once cooked, drain the pasta, rinse in cool water & toss in an extra drizzle of olive oil to ensure the noodles don’t get too sticky.
2. In a large bowl combine the diced tomatoes, black olives, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crushed rep pepper, & sea salt flakes. Add more or less of the balsamic vinegar, garlic, crushed rep pepper & salt to suit your taste preferences. Mix together. Then add the chopped basil. Let the mixture sit for 20 to 40 minutes so the flavors combine.
3. To serve, top pasta with the tomato and basil mixture & then with feta cheese crumbles & extra basil.
This pasta is intended to be served cool rather than hot. We even like it cold as leftovers after it’s been in the refrigerator overnight.