When the Hubs and I were still dating, we went out with some friends for dinner at TGI Fridays. I remember ordering a pasta dish that was tossed with bruschetta, topped with grilled chicken, and drizzled with a thick syrupy balsamic reduction. It was delicious! As I ate I kept telling myself, "I could recreate this at home, it would be so easy". Since that night we've perfected the dish and it has become a regular in our spring and summer meal rotation.
This dish is so easy that you can have it all done in the time it takes to cook the pasta, perfect for Twenty Minute Tuesday. It is also a great dish to use when teaching someone to cook. My 6 year old loves to help me make it.
1/2 lb of pasta (thin spaghetti or angel hair works great for this particular dish)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/3 cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
Fill a 4 quart saucepan 1/2 to 2/3 full of water. Generously salt the water (it should taste like the sea). Bring the water to a boil, and add pasta. Cook according to package directions.
Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and simmer until it becomes a syrupy, sweet reduction. remove from heat and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, open the tomatoes and drain off most of the liquid. In a medium bowl, stir together the tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper.
When pasta is al dente, drain it and toss it into the bruschetta. Serve immediately.
When serving, drizzle each portion with the reduced balsamic vinegar, and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
*This dish is also delicious topped with grilled chicken, shrimp, or portobello mushrooms.