I despise when people complain about how busy they are. You know that person, the person that thinks they’re wayyyy busier than everyone else and doesn’t even stop to think that everyone else is JUST as busy as them. Life is busy. Everyone is busy. It’s life, and I feel like it should be implied, not constantly complained about.
But! I’m breaking my rule for a second, because I’ve been so flipping swamped lately, like literally, can’t-keep-up-may-have-a-break-down-at-any-second busy. I’m not saying I’m busier than anyone else, because I’m clearly not. My best friend is getting married in less than a month and swamped with work and last minute details – she’s busy. My other best friend works a full-time job, is a full-time Mom, still breastfeeds and up until recently wasn’t sleeping through the night because her little baby was having ear problems and couldn’t sleep longer than a few hours a time – she’s busy. (And deserves a seriously long day at the spa.) My sister-in-law is pretty much super Mom parenting three children ages four, two and four months old, who all happen to perfectly well behaved, immaculately dressed and downright adorable around the clock – she’s busy.
Usually I thrive on a hectic schedule, but currently I’m my own worst enemy as I took on entirely too much in the last couple months, thinking things would magically get accomplished and they just didn’t. It sounds cliché, but taking each day one day at a time has been a tremendous help in alleviating some stress – I accomplish everything that I can within that day and then start fresh the next day, slowly checking to-dos off my list.
For the next month, my priorities will be simplified. Leisurely coffee mornings have been cut out. Actually sitting down at a table for lunch, gone. And hour long dinner preparations have been swapped out for quick, simple meals.
Meals around our house lately have looked very similar to today’s Burst Cherry Tomato Angel Hair. Simple, fresh ingredients quickly come together for a dinner that not only comes together in under 30 minutes, but is packed with flavor.
I’ve made a variation of this sauce a thousand times before, it’s something I learned how to make in Italy years ago, and something that’s stuck with me since then. Whole cherry tomatoes are sautéed in a touch of olive oil until they start to burst, and then hit with a dousing of dry sherry (one of my very favorite flavors). The juice from the tomatoes slowly starts to sweep out of the tomatoes, creating a sweet sauce that’s enhanced with garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice.
Any pasta would compliment the sauce beautifully, but I love how angel hair soaks up the delicate sauce and grasps each piece of cooked garlic like a magnet. The finishing touch is a heavy hand of basil, plenty of salt and pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Once it’s ready to serve fresh ricotta is dotted across the top, and dinner is complete.
The perfect meal for the busiest of people.
- 8 ounces angel hair pasta
- 1 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup basil cut into thin ribbons
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season liberally with salt.
- Heat a large skillet to a medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add cherry tomatoes. Cook until the skin on the tomatoes are starting to burst, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic, cook another minute.
- Add sherry, reduce for 1-2 minutes. Use the back of a wooden spoon to gently smash the tomatoes, releasing their juice.
- Add lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Continue to cook until the tomatoes are completely cooked and soft.
- In the meantime, cook angel hair until its just shy of begin done.
- Using tongs transfer angel hair to tomato sauce, reserve cooking liquid.
- Toss pasta with the sauce. The sauce will most likely need a little bit more liquid, add ¼ cup of the starchy cooking liquid to the pasta until you have a sauce-like constancy. (I added ¾ cup)
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add in the basil, toss until combined.
- Dot with ricotta cheese.