Perfect Summer Pasta

I could eat pasta anytime, any day. I’m a pasta junkie. The good news for me and other pasta junkies is that pasta, and their accompanying sauces are really versatile. There is a combination for every season. A rich meaty bolognese (see here) is great on a cold winters night. With the summer upon us, I’ve got the perfect pasta recipe to share with you. I’ve been making this dish for years, to the joy of family and friends. Made with ripe cherry tomatoes, sweet basil, garlic and olive oil, this dish bursts with flavor. The tomatoes and garlic marinate in the olive oil, making a deliciously light summer sauce.

Inspired by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa -

Perfect Summer Pasta
1lbs Angle Hair Pasta
2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes
5 – 6 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
15 – 20 Basil Leaves, Julienned
1/4 Cup of Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Kosher Salt

Rinse, then slice all of the cherry tomatoes in half. I used a variety of both red and yellow cherry tomatoes. In a bowl top the sliced tomatoes with 1 tsp of kosher salt. This is really important, because the salt pulls the water and flavor out of the tomatoes. This helps to make the sauce extra flavorful.

Add to the bowl, the sweet basil, red chili flakes, and garlic. Pour the olive oil into the bowl and mix all of the ingredients together. Cover the bowl and let the mixture sit for 2 – 4 hours. This allows time for all of the flavors to come together.

The rest is easy. Boil your water and cook the pasta according to directions on the package. Angel Hair pasta usually cooks really fast, in just 3 – 4 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked and strained pour the tomato and olive oil sauce over the top along with the parmesan cheese, toss together. Plate, and top with a little extra parmesan cheese. If you friends and family are like mine, they will be clamoring for seconds, so make plenty.


Now that’s a “Good Dog!” Food Truck

What do you get when you combine a Dachshund, a trained chef, a 1991 diesel bus and boyfriend that grew up in the restaurant industry? You get a food truck cranking out gourmet hot dogs that will make your taste buds dance. Good Dog Food Truck established in early 2011 has all of the ingredients to grow a following of fans and keep them coming back for more.

Molly and Danny owners of Good Dog have been in the food industry for several years and have a passion for serving great quality food. Molly, a trained chef has worked in upscale restaurants here in Houston for the last five years. Restaurants including Reef, you might remember seeing the Executive Chef Bryan, Caswell on the Next Iron Chef.

The concept for the food truck was born out of the idea of making all of their condiments from scratch, including homemade ketchup’s, relish and mustard. Molly jokes that the only thing that they don’t make from scratch is the cheese, which they just might make in the future. The hot dogs and buns are sourced locally here in Texas. To find the perfect hot dog Molly and Danny traveled the state of Texas trying many different dogs. The dog that they chose is quite a “Good Dog!” You can see spices in the hot dog and the taste is much better than a hot dog purchased from your local grocery store. Combine those great hot dogs with condiments made from scratch and fresh combinations like homemade dill pickles, cream cheese and pickled onions… Great taste and a party in your mouth.

They are really going all out to produce great gourmet food served from their truck. Instead of using Phase (artificial butter) to grill their hot dog buns they are using real butter and taking the time to clarify the butter (so that it doesn’t burn on the hot grill). In my experience its the simple basics that if are done right, takes food from good to great. What I saw behind the scenes, was that Good Dog is doing the little things right that make a big difference in terms of taste.

You can find Good Dog Food Truck by following them on Facebook or Twitter, they post a weekly schedule and update their locations daily. You can also visit their website at Gooddogfoodtruck.com ~ Make sure to watch the behind the scenes video above.


Really Quick Naan Pizza

Naan Pizza is perfect as an easy mid week dinner or a quick throw it together lunch. Kate and I on occasion order a pizza and a salad to be delivered. This Naan Pizza can be thrown together faster than you can order for delivery.

It’s easy and starts with grilling the Naan on a panini press (or in a frying pan if you don’t have a panini press). Once your Naan is hot and grilled your ready to top your Naan Pizza and broil it for just a few quick minutes to melt the cheese and warm your toppings. It’s that easy!

Heat the Naan on a Panini Press

Top with your favorite toppings

Pepperoni & Provolone Cheese – Sprinkle with Oregano

Broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and begins to turn golden brown

Presto, you’re ready to eat – Could you order delivery that fast?

For sauce you can follow the recipe below or use your favorite jared sauce (you can cheat I won’t tell. Plus it’s faster).

Pizza Sauce -

1 15 oz can of Hunt’s Tomato Sauce
1/2 Can of Hunt’s Tomato Paste (The small 6 oz can)
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Oregano

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. If you have time let the sauce sit for at least half an hour to let the flavors combine.

For cheese – I like to use sliced provolone (Sargento is a good choice).

Don’t forget, Pizza and a salad is a solid combination.


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