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Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Blushing Angel Hair Pasta

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons water. Simmer until the water cooks out and the garlic becomes tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste with 2 more tablespoons water and cook to "fry" the paste for a minute in the oil, stirring. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook over medium heat until they soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cream. Season with salt to taste. Keep warm.
  2. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a rolling boil. Add a generous handful of salt. Bring the water back up to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring with a slotted spoon to make sure it does not clump or stick to the bottom, until al dente, 3 to 4 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid and drain the pasta in a large colander.
  3. Add the hot pasta right from the colander to the skillet and toss to coat with the cream. Shut the heat off and allow the pasta to rest for 2 minutes. If too thin, gently warm and reduce over low heat for 1 to 2 additional minutes. If it becomes too thick, simply thin it out with some of the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Serve topped with the cheese.

Cook’s Note

This is about heating and searing the garlic and tomato paste for a minute to intensify their flavors. Those strong flavors are still pulsating underneath the layer of cream that connects the pasta and sauce here. To me, this is a 1988 dream dish; easy and "fancy restaurant" retro, and therefore, super chic again. This dish can be fortified with sauteed shrimp, steamed and shelled clams or any other types of seafood. If using, stir in the cooked, warm seafood at the last minute.