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Main Dish | January 11, 2011

Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil

Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil

The Recovery Room. That’s what our family room has been for the past 6 days. Started with Brooke’s sinus surgery. Two days later, Stephen had his tonsils removed. Ouch. Lots of time together on the twin sofas. Loads of cold drinks, soft food, Kleenex, ice cream, movies, straws, visitors, Slurpees, Concretes and Rainbows (Btown treats).
Now that I’m a pretend nurse, and a teacher (did I tell you Jake has been homeschooling since mid November??) cooking time is a bit more limited. Found this recipe in House Beautiful magazine and knew I would love it. Why? It made the cut for ABK’s “Seriously Simple” category. It takes about 10-15 minutes, pan to table. And it’s absolutely delicious.
Made this last night, for the second time in a week.
New favorite dish: this is it.

See this tool? It’s called a microplane grater.
If you don’t have one, you need one. Now.

Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil

Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil

Author adapted from Ina Garten


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 pints small cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes halved
  • 2-3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¾ pound dried capellini or angel hair pasta fresh or dried
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add two tablespoons of salt to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the ½ cup of olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, thyme, two teaspoons salt, ground pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for five minutes, tossing occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften.
  3. While the tomatoes are cooking, add the capellini to the pot of boiling water and cook for two minutes (if using fresh), or according to the directions on the package. Be careful about overcooking the pasta. Using tongs, remove the pasta from the pot of water and add to the cooked tomato mixture in the saucepan. Don’t worry about water on the pasta, the dish needs a little of the pasta water to have the right consistency.
  4. Pour the pasta and tomatoes into a large serving bowl.
  5. Add the Parmesan and fresh basil, and toss well.
  6. Serve immediately with additional grated Parmesan cheese.

13 thoughts on “Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil

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Recipe Rating

  1. The photos are gorgeous! And this has to be one of my favorite flavor combos – tomatoes and basil. I could eat it all day long! (maybe I shouldn't make it, then? If I'm gonna eat it all day long…?).

    Visiting from Tasty Tuesday

  2. This looks so good…thanks for sharing all your favorites with us! I'm going to share one of mine with you when I get home from San Francisco this evening! Read the article about Tartine bread in the January issue of Martha Stewart, and open your door tonight! Lucy

  3. I love this cappellini. So easy. However, give me the Rainbows and concrete any day. The only thing I like better than a rainbow is the old real sugar laden Astro Bar.

  4. This sounds like my kind of recipe – I could eat pasta every day and anyone that include fresh basil is good by me! Hope everyone is on the mend @ your house. Thanks so much for linking up to Tasty Tuesdays.

  5. This really is a lovely recipe. I hope your crew is better soon. I'm relatively new to your blog and don't comment often, but I wanted you to know how much I like the food and recipes you feature here. Your photos are also great. I hope you have a good day. Blessings…Mary