Fresh Medjool Date and Tomato Mostaccoili Pasta

Fresh Medjool Date and Tomato Mostaccoili Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (or pressed)
  • 2-3 fresh Medjool dates, pitted, roughly chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional - adds a little kick)
  • 1 lb. mostaccoili pasta (or penne or pasta of choice)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • Chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano hard cheese

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package al-dente directions.
  2. While water is boiling, heat the olive oil in a large 14-inch sauté pan on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the halved tomatoes, thyme, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes (if using). Reduce heat to medium low, cook for 3 minutes, sprinkle in chopped Medjool dates combine and remove from heat. You want the Medjool dates to soften and slightly caramelize. Remove from heat.
  4. When the pasta is al-dente, removed from heat. Using a slotted pasta spoon, remove the pasta from the hot water and add it to the Medjool date and tomato mixture, toss to combine. Don't worry about the water in the spoon, the water gives the dish a nice consistency. Transfer to a large bowl or serving platter.
  5. To top the pasta, use a microplane (or other fine-grain grater) to grate the chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Add the fresh basil and serve immediately.