In honor of (hopefully) getting to see Giada de Laurentiis in person tomorrow at the LA Times Festival of Books, I thought I’d try to whip up one of her recipes tonight for dinner. It turned out great and was fairly simple, low-cost and healthy, so I’d say it’s going in the repertoire. I’m just writing it down from the memory of today’s “Giada at Home” episode, so some of the details might not be quite right. Be warned that it’s messy–I think I ended up with plenty of tomato juice on my chin and on my jeans, not to mention all over my kitchen counter. Also, the heat of the pasta didn’t quite warm the sauce enough, so I recommend zapping it in the microwave for a few seconds, or just adding the sauce to the pasta while it’s still in the hot saucepan. The softness of the pasta combined with the crunchiness of the almonds, plus the very flavorful sauce, is a real treat.
½ package spaghetti
1 can diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic, chopped
fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper
½ cup roasted almonds, chopped (buy them roasted or toast your own in the oven for just a few minutes)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Boil pasta according to package directions. While water is boiling / pasta is cooking, combine tomatoes, half a lemon’s worth of lemon juice, a few leaves of basil, garlic, and a dash of salt and pepper in a food processor. (If you don’t have a food processor just chop the garlic and the basil extra fine, break up the tomatoes with your hands, and stir thoroughly). Combine with cooked pasta and allow to heat through. Top with a few more basil leaves, freshly grated parmesan, and chopped almonds.