Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Garlic

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Garlic

Many years ago, I was lucky enough to go to Washington D.C. with my mom on a flight that she was working (she was a flight attendant for 31 years). We went to museums, did some shopping…my mom bought me a leather jacket because it was the 90s after all and we ate some great meals along the way. One meal, in particular, still stands out today… Pasta with fresh tomatoes and garlic. My mom and her fellow flight attendants would get this pasta from a food court upon their arrival. My mom talked about this dish often so I was excited to finally try it for myself and it did not disappoint! Such a simple dish from an unassuming place that just exploded with flavor (the pasta exploded with flavor, not the food court). I’ve been on the hunt to find that flavor ever since. This recipe is as close as I can get to that magical D.C. food court pasta. Oh, and I still have the leather jacket in case you were wondering.

Serves 4


  • 1 pound angel hair pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 basil leaves, torn
  • Parmesan cheese for serving


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a big pinch of salt and the pasta and let it cook according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, to prepare the sauce:

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, add shallot and garlic and cook for 1 minute, add cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook stirring every couple minutes until the tomatoes begin to blister and burst.

Once the pasta is cooked al dente, use a measuring cup to scoop out about a cup of pasta water and set aside, drain pasta and add it to the tomatoes along with the basil leaves, gently toss it all together, add pasta water a little bit at a time while stirring to create a silky consistency.

To serve, add a few more fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese.

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