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Thursday 8 December 2016
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Sassy Mediterranean Linguine with Basil and Tomatoes

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I like pasta. If I eat pasta once a week I am good. I don’t crave pasta like I crave a cupcake, or should I say the icing on a cupcake, so when I do eat it, it’s just an ordinary dinner to me. It probably doesn’t help that I am not a huge fan of traditional tomato sauce. Which, by the way, probably just made my paternal birth grandfather curse at me in Italian from up above. I much prefer my pasta with a little butter (or EVOO), garlic powder, and parmesan cheese.

Given my history on pasta and sauce, but still recognizing my husband’s deep seeded need for pasta at least 3 times a week, I agreed to give his new recipe a shot. I was extremely surprised by the result.

Ingredients
1 (16 ounce) box linguine pasta
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
1/2 cup Crisco® 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 pints grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
18 basil leaves, cut in thin strips
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish

Directions
1. Heat 6 quarts water to boiling. Add pasta and salt. Cook for the minimum recommended time on package directions.
2. While pasta cooks, prepare sauce.
3. Heat olive oil in large skillet on medium heat.
4. Add tomatoes and garlic. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.
5. Remove from heat. Stir in vinegar and pepper flakes.

6. Drain pasta.

7. Add pasta to skillet. Cook and stir 1 minute or until pasta is coated and hot.

8. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
9. Stir in basil and cheese. Serve with additional cheese, if desired.

Being the sauce was mainly diced tomatoes (and their juice), olive oil and assortment of other add ins, it was extremely light on the pasta. The zing from the red pepper flakes really added a WOW factor. I’m not a huge eater of spicy foods, heck I order mild to medium hot wings at our local Taco Mac, so this recipe had my tongue definitely tingling from the heat (and reaching for the Italian bread). I am also glad we kept some plain pasta aside for the kids too, since it was spicier than anything I would ever serve them.

If you like foods with a kick, you should definitely put this one on your TO TRY list. I am glad we did.

You can find the recipe here from AllRecipes.com.