Ina’s Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil

This is the last fresh tomato sauce from my small garden for the 2014 growing season here in Michigan.  I have had a bumper crop of tomatoes and my herbs always do well.   I have been busy using tomatoes with veggies, salads and sauces or just eating them on their own.  My herbs, such as basil, parsley and thyme,  always provide plenty of  cuttings and a great fresh taste to so many of my recipes such as this one.

A few weeks ago I tried a new pasta recipe by Ina Garten, or the Barefoot Contessa which is absolutely delicious.   I have noticed there are  a few devotees out there who love her too and know her recipes never (usually) disappoint.  Only one recipe  that I can recall and that was her lemon chicken – too much lemon!

Ina has quite the history behind her where in 1978  she left her job as a budget analyst in the White House to pursue a dream where she ended up owning a specialty food store, called the Barefoot Contessa in the Hamptons.  Now, that is a career change – kind of wish I would have done something like that.  As you can see I have all eight of her cookbooks and have pre-ordered her new one that I believe is coming out in October.

Each cookbook is full of beautiful color photographs of each recipe with simply written directions.  I have made so many of her recipes over the years and they usually turn out great. Beginning with her first (of 8 and soon 9) cookbook ” The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook” published in 1999 I have been a loyal follower –  I first saw her on the Martha Stewart show.  I might have to tweak an ingredient or two, or change some directions, but I can usually count on Ina for a delicious recipe.   See also my Weight Watcher’s recipe Capellini with Fresh Tomato Sauce.



I love my tomatoes and I love my fresh herbs – they always help make a great recipe.  Lots of basil, curly and Italian parsley and thyme for Ina’s pasta.

DSC_3482 DSC_4304   DSC_4305

To celebrate a great growing season I am bringing this pasta recipe to the party over at The Novice Gardener to celebrate Fiesta Friday #35.  I mean everyone likes pasta, fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs!  Also, thanks to the co-hosts, Prudy and Naina

Ina's Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. garlic, minced (or to taste)
  • fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or use cherry tomatoes like Ina did
  • large handful of fresh basil (or to taste), julienned
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (I never chop them as they are so small)
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 lb. capellini or thin spaghetti
  • 1-1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
  • extra basil and Parmesan for serving

Bring a large pot of water to boiling and add a sprinkle or two of salt (optional) and a splash of oil to the pan. Cook according to package directions; drain and save some of the pasta water.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan; add the garlic and cook briefly for about a minute.  Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, 1 tsp. salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes tossing occasionally.

Place the pasta in a large serving bowl, add the tomato mixture and Parmesan and toss.  Add some of the pasta water if the pasta seems too dry.

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju  

DSC_4246 DSC_4251DSC_4248

33 thoughts on “Ina’s Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil

  1. Yea for Ina! She is one of my cooking go to’s. I have tomatoes coming out of my ears, but my sweet basil just turned black and dropped it’s leaves? Your capellini sure came out lovely. We love pasta and I love the freshness of this dish. Happy FF Judi!


  2. All those tomatoes and basil! My eyes are drooling just looking at the abundance from your 2014 growing season, Judi. I can’t believe you have/had all that at your fingertips to enjoy. I definitely must get my planter boxes in next spring. As for Ina, I don’t own any of her cookbooks, but I am an avid fan of her show and recipes. Ina basically never fails me so I go back for more and more. Will have to check out her cookbooks from the library! Have a great weekend!


    • Thanks Ngan – I planted a lot of tomatoes this year and sadly they are gone as well as the basil. They cannot handle the cold nights!!! I watch Ina’s show when I can too as well as subscribing to the Food Network Magazine. She is fun and I love her home and gardens. Enjoy your week – nothing but sunshine all week here in Michigan 🙂


  3. How very beautiful, and I’m so envious of all those wonderful veggies and herbs. Yes, I’m one of Ina’s fans too, and have posted her recipes a couple of times. Your sauce looks just wonderful! Happy FF!


  4. Pingback: Apple Pie | Fiesta Friday #35 | The Novice Gardener

  5. I’m an Ina fan too! 🙂 This dish looks fresh & delicious- your herb garden still looks gorgeous too- mine is starting to look a little sad- the basil really. 😦 Happy FF & have a great weekend!


    • The basil and tomatoes are gone – those pictures were taken 2-3 weeks ago. The rest is still producing but they are much hardier as they are perennials (thyme) and bi-annuals (parsley). Have a great weekend too 🙂


    • I love all of these Ina fans! Obviously, I like her as I have been collecting her cookbooks for a long time. I will miss the fresh tomatoes and basil – summer is a long way off here. Have a good week 🙂


  6. Happy Fiesta Friday, Judi!! So many things I want to say here… First, I want to know if it’s weird that I want to shove my whole face into that dish of capellini? It looks so delicious…I could definitely eat that for breakfast right now! I love Ina.. she and I are best friends, she just doesn’t know it! I agree with you…there aren’t really any recipes of hers that I’ve tried…that I didn’t like! This is an awesome post and a delicious recipe! LOVE this.. ❤


    • Thank you Prudy – you are too funny! I can just picture your face in a bowl of this pasta – kind of like a pie in the face 🙂 Ina is quite the chef and has so many good recipes. We are best friends – I think she knows that!


  7. I totally love pasta with fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs! I cannot resist Thanks and your garden looks wonderful. I love all those fresh herbs!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s