Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What's for dinner?

I love Giada. 

I really love her.  Everything of hers I have ever made has been delicious. 

Well, everything except the chicken tetrezzini I tried to make when I was living down in NC about 7 years ago.  It is the one dinner I actually didn't eat because I threw it out.  I have had nightmares...I had flour everywhere....


Pasta Ponza.  A few weeks ago I was catching up on DVR'd shows and watching one of her 30 minute shows on the Food Network (yes, I record them) and the episode was all about pasta.  Hello!  I love pasta!  So I printed out this recipe and made it a few days later for dinner. And it was delicious.

Well, last night I made it again.  And this time I just threw it together with what I had in my fridge and pantry.  I didn't need to buy a thing for this dinner, which was great.  I used the leftover 1/2 full boxes of fusilli and bowtie pastas, the grape tomatoes I had left from lunches last week, and then already had a 1/2 jar of capers in the fridge and the olive oil and bread crumbs in the pantry.  Plus I had the 'good stuff' as husband calls it - fresh shredded cheese left over from a previous dinner.  I used what was left and filled in with grated parmesean from the green can.  I even used fresh parsley from my back deck

I apologize, I forgot to take pictures (again).  I threw the tomatoes in quickly, made the dog her dinner, put the pasta on, threw a bag of steamer green beans in the microwave, grabbed and opened a bottle of wine and everything was ready!  It really is that quick!  The actual recipe below is pretty structured, but I really just threw together what I had in the house already.  It was so good, I just couldn't not tell you about it.


Pasta Ponza by Giada from the Food Network


Butter for greasing
2 cups (12 ounces) red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups (12 ounces) yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 cup Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs
1 pound ziti or other short tube-shaped pasta
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 ounces) Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.

Place the tomatoes, capers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in the prepared baking dish. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzle the top with olive oil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

Place the pasta in a large serving bowl. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the pasta. Add the cheese and toss well. Thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.


This is definitely a tasty, quick and easy go to pasta dinner.  And it makes delicious leftovers for lunch at work the next day!

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