This Pasta Primavera with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic takes just 20 minutes to prepare, perfect for a quick and easy dinner.
Our family just got back from an incredible family vacation on the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean. I haven’t been to the Caribbean in over twenty years, and have never been there with my entire family so it was a truly special trip. We were celebrating our oldest son’s graduation from college before he starts working full-time. It was a bittersweet time for us. While it was awesome having a week together as a family, playing games, swimming together, laughing over dinnertime conversations, and just hanging out, I know that it will be much harder to go on vacations together going forward.
As parents, we dream of launching our kids into life well prepared to be good and responsible citizens, to be self-sufficient, to find a good job that will support their living expenses, and to be happy with where they have landed. Yet, when the moment actually arrives, it’s kind of a strange feeling, knowing that they now have their own home – that our home will no longer be their home base.
There’s a finality that didn’t exist when they were in college.
It’s a new chapter in our son’s life and ours. Of course, we’re excited for him and can’t wait to watch him pave his own path. He’s matured so much and become so independent over the past four years at college. We feel fortunate that he’s living only an hour away, so he can hop on a train and come home when he has time.
This Pasta Primavera with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic was one of our kids’ favorite meals on St. Martin, and one that I recreated in my kitchen this past weekend when my oldest son came home. The chef who prepared this for us on St. Martin called this pasta primavera, which I initially thought was going to be a creamy pasta dish with broccoli, carrots and other vegetables like I’ve sometimes seen in the U.S. We were pleasantly surprised to be presented with a beautiful pasta dish with fresh tomatoes, garlic infused olive oil, and a smattering of fresh basil on top. When I asked how it was prepared, I was surprised by how few ingredients this recipe has. The key is to use the best, freshest produce available. This theme rang true throughout all the meals we enjoyed during our vacation. Each and every ingredient used to prepare our meals was hand selected with the greatest of care to ensure that it was the freshest and highest quality possible.
Since coming home, I’ve been re-energized and inspired by all the wonderful meals we had during our vacation. As I peruse all the fresh produce at home, whether at the farmer’s market or the grocery store, I try to take the time to smell and feel each piece of fruit, to choose the freshest vegetables, and select the best ingredients for my family by reading the labels on everything I buy.
Try this recipe with the freshest summer tomatoes and basil you can find, and the best extra virgin olive oil you can find (I use Costco’s organic extra virgin olive oil) and you won’t be disappointed – I promise.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 10-12 cloves garlic, minced
- a few dashes of red pepper flakes
- 4 large tomatoes, chopped
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 16 ounces gluten-free pasta
- 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook briefly; do not let garlic get too brown or else it will taste burnt; set aside.
- Place tomatoes in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper; add garlic and garlic-infused olive oil.
- Cook pasta until al dente; drain and toss with tomatoes and garlic olive oil. Top with fresh basil. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.