Some things just taste like a season, you know? Like sage and nutmeg. It’s always incredible to me how a tiny pinch of nutmeg or the most subtle flavor of sage in a dish can instantly make it taste like the warmth of winter. The warmth of winter….ha. I guess that’s a bit oxymoronic, but I’m sure you know what I mean. Well this dish does that for me; It defines the flavors of summer. Rarely does a summer go by without this pasta making an appearance once or twice….or ten times. Honestly? I’ll admit I’ve made this twice in one week’s time.
The best part about this pasta is that it’s just as good (if not better!) the next day as it is when you first make it. You don’t even need to reheat it, it’s really delicious cold. In fact, I’ve made it with penne and thrown it in the fridge to serve the next day as a pasta salad. The flavors really have time to mesh together and you’re almost left with a garlicky tomato gravy of goodness. Holy moly…..I want some right now.
Be sure to serve it with some crusty bread, too. You won’t want to miss all that juice in the bottom!! (Or if you’re like Jeremy and I, you can just turn your bowl up and drink it……I meannnnnnn……That’s not ladylike. I would never…). Also, read the note after the recipe for some healthy substitutions and tips!
TOMATO BASIL & BRIE PASTA – A classic from The Milk Truck’s MOM! 🙂
Serves about 5
1 pkg dry pasta – I used bucatini here which is similar to spaghetti but hollow (the better to soak up that tomato gravy!), but you could really use anything!
3 medium-large tomatoes(again…use as many as you want!)
About 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons
3 cloves of garlic, minced or put through a press
1 wedge of brie, rind removed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
salt & pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan(optional, for serving)
1 – Make your tomato mixture. The sooner you can do this the better. It gets better the longer it sits!
Cut up your tomatoes (I do about 1-inch cubes) and put them into a big bowl. Add a little salt and let them sit for a few minutes until they start to get juicy. Now add your garlic, basil and brie. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil last, and a few cracks of fresh black pepper.
2 – Once you’re ready to eat, it’s pasta boiling time (be honest, how many times did you dip your spoon into that tomato mixture??). In salted water, cook your pasta according to directions. When it’s ready, scoop out ONE CUP of hot pasta water (this is important!) and then transfer your pasta to a large serving bowl. Quickly pour your tomato mixture over the hot pasta and toss. The brie will begin to melt onto the hot pasta and the oil & salty, starchy pasta water will combine to create that amazinggggg tomato gravy goodness.
Well, you’re welcome. That was so fast, I bet you didn’t even have time to have a glass of wine, yet, did you? Just bang some things around in the kitchen while you drink it and make people think you’re working really hard. That way you can ask someone else to clean up and not feel guilty. Watch…you’ll be making this twice in one week, too!
1] When you’re preparing your tomato mixture, I find that putting a little salt onto the tomatoes first thing can really cut down the amount of oil you use later. You’ll be amazed at how much juice the salt brings out of them, even in just a few minutes. I didn’t do this the first few times I made it on my own and I probably used several more tablespoons of olive oil than I needed to!
2] Another way to make this a little healthier, and no less delicious, is to sub Laughing Cow Cheese wedges for the brie. We’ve tried with a few different varieties, but Mom & I think the Garlic & Herb is the best! These little babies are Weight Watchers friendly, too (only 1 points+ per wedge) and they actually end up melting and making it even creamier than the brie….if you can believe it. I add about one wedge per person/serving, so for this recipe I would add 4-5 wedges.
3] Finally, if I’m trying to cut back on calories but am craving this flavor, I just add less pasta and more tomatoes. Using penne is also a good way to cut back on pasta. I find you don’t need as much!