Saturday, August 22, 2009

For the Love of Pasta: Spicy Tomato-Basil Farfalle

As you may have noticed, I am a sucker for pasta. A friend of mine also noticed that he finds my taste "extraordinary" and "exotic" because I love pasta with herby sauces and I'm not sure if those are just euphemisms for "weird." I love how pasta dishes are so versatile-- well at least for the Filipino diet. You can almost eat pasta at any time of the day (save for midnight snacks, you don't want to have something really heavy in your stomach before going to bed): breakfast, lunch, merienda, dinner.

When shopping for food in the supermarket, I usually kill time ogling at the items in the pasta shelf; I just love looking at pasta with all its glorious shapes and sizes. Recently, I just picked up a bag of farfalle since I realized I haven't cooked with this curiously-shaped pasta yet.

Here is a recipe for farfalle. Farfalle is Italian for "butterfly"-- it derived its name from the shape of the pasta. However, it is usually named "bowtie" in supermarkets. For the sauce, I think you just can't go wrong with a combination of tomato, basil and cheese.SPICY TOMATO-BASIL FARFALLE

1 C farfalle pasta, uncooked
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 small garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried chili flakes
1/2 tbsp dried basil
4 tbsp all-purpose cream
3 tbsp grated cheese
2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Cool and set aside.

Heat olive oil over low heat. Sauté onion and garlic until brown; add chili flakes, basil and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add cream and grated cheese and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken. Blend in pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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