If you didn’t already know, based on all of my Mexican food recipes, I happen to reside in the great state of New Mexico. There are many wonderful things about NM, including mountains, a mild climate, and tumbleweeds (*cough cough*), but there are a few drawbacks as well. While we have some of the most amazing, traditional Mexican restaurants in the US, we also happen to lack decent Italian food restaurants.
To demonstrate both the tumbleweeds and lack of good Italian restaurants, please review the photo below:
(Yes, that tumbleweed, tumbling dangerously across the highway, is easily 4 feet in diameter. Can you guess what “Italian” restaurant it is tumbling in front of?)
Thankfully, there is one amazing Italian restaurant that I know of. There is a small chain of restaurants called The Pasta Cafe, where one can enjoy the most incredible Italian dishes, paired with a perfect house wine. One of the chains happens to be in Roswell, NM, so my mom and I try to stop by for lunch, every time we are in town.
Our absolute favorite dish on the menu is their pasta pomodoro. It is a heaping plate of angel hair pasta, tossed with olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and basil that is so well-balanced and flavorful, I could get my meat-loving husband to not even notice that this is a meatless dish. Below is a recipe for pasta pomodoro that is as good as the recipe that they serve at The Pasta Cafe!
- 16 oz angel hair pasta
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 roma tomatoes, diced
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (or Parmesan cheese)
In a large pot, boil pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Set aside.
In same pot, warm olive oil over medium heat and saute onions until fragrant and translucent. Add garlic and tomatoes and saute an additional minute, stirring frequently. Stir in pasta, chicken broth, and balsamic vinegar and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Add basil, salt and pepper, toss well, and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and top with parmigiano-reggiano.
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