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What to make for dinner if you're over sixty: orecchiette with cherry tomatoes, arugula and sweet basil


What to make for dinner if you're over sixty; something really delicious, fresh and simple, like pasta with fresh tomatoes and a handful of arugula.  The sweet basil is a nice addition, just a few leaves on top with the freshly grated Parmesan.  I also like a drizzle of hot chili infused extra virgin olive oil over my pasta, but feel free to drizzle extra virgin olive oil without the extra kick from hot chili.
I like leftovers for lunch so I tend to make extra, just like the time I went to the nursery to buy a tomato plant and came home with six tomato plants.  Now, I'm reaping the rewards with a daily tomato harvest a few steps from my back door.  I went big into the cherry tomatoes so it's a good thing we love them.
I've noticed there is a ripeness window when it comes to picking the tomatoes off the vine, if you let them get overly ripe they squish in your hands and the skins get a little tough.  I like to make some version of pasta with tomatoes fairly often especially now when the tomatoes are so good.  Here is my recipe and an update to my blog which hasn't been updated since I don't know when ??  I'm thinking recipes for simple summer dinners will be a good focus going forward.

Ingredients and Recipe for Orecchiette with Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula and Sweet Basil
Serves 2 generously 

Sea salt for the pasta water
8 ounces dry orecchiette
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 generous cups larger cherry tomatoes
2 generous handfuls fresh arugula
Sweet basil leaves for serving
Freshly ground black pepper 
Sea salt for serving
Grated Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil chili infused for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan, stir in the smashed garlic cloves.
Cook the garlic for several minutes on medium heat to soften and make the oil fragrant, remove the garlic 
When the water boils, stir in the pasta and cook according to package directions.
Place a pyrex measuring cup in the sink next to where you plan to drain the pasta, measure out a cup of hot pasta water for the sauce.
Meanwhile, add the tomatoes to the garlic infused oil in the sauté pan.  Cook and the tomatoes for a few minutes or until tomatoes are soft and slightly jammy, stir a few times.
Drain the pasta and add the the tomatoes, mixing well, add the pasta water as needed to make pasta saucy.
Add the arugula, stirring into the pasta.
Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Drizzle on the chili infused oil to taste.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Add a few sweet basil leaves on top.


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