A few weeks ago my dear friend Nancy made a simple pasta dish that knocked my socks off with it's mix of fresh ingredients and easy preparation. Try it sometime using fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, basil and a glass of our favorite Summer drink for 2010, New Zealand's Argentine's semi-sparkling 'New Age' wine on ice with a twist of lime. Substitute the fettuccine for linguine or angel hair pasta if you're not big on thicker noodles and enjoy this rare Martha Stewart moment from NCM.
Fettuccine with Tomatoes, Basil, and Crisp Bread Crumbs
– by Joanne Weir
1 cup very coarse fresh bread crumbs
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups red cherry tomatoes, halved
12 ounces dried fettuccine
1/2 cup basil leaves, cut into thin strips
Preheat the oven to 375°F
Place the bread crumbs on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and toss the crumbs to distribute the oil evenly. Season the bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Bake in the middle of the oven, tossing occasionally, until they turn golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and stir together. Set aside.
Fill a large pot three-fourths full of salted water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes or according to the directions on the package.
Drain the pasta and toss with the tomatoes and vinaigrette. Place in a serving bowl and garnish with basil and bread crumbs. Serve immediately. (Serves 6