Angel Hair with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes

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Angel hair with pesto and cherry tomatoes is the pasta recipe we want to share with you today. Very tasty, fresh and delicate, particularly good for the summer season.

This vegetarian recipe is very simple and quick, given also the rapid cooking time of Angel Hair pasta.

Angel Hair or Capelli d’Angelo, also called “Cappellini,” are one of the thinnest shapes in the long pasta category. They have a cooking time of only 2-3 minutes.

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Traditionally this type of pasta comes in nest-shaped rolls, but it can also be found in packaged form like spaghetti, depending on the brand.

Italian tradition calls for cooking angel hair in broth. Angel hair nests are crumbled with bread in meat broth to make a great soup for cold winter evenings. Its a classic Italian comfort food.

But nowadays this noodle format is frequently used for great pasta recipes as well!

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Angel hair is such a thin pasta size that it lends itself well to fairly light sauces. Vegetable-based sauces, such as pesto alla genovese or  tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes, are perfect. They are often eaten plain with butter or oil and grated Parmigiano cheese.

Try angel hair with pesto and fresh cherry tomatoes. Of course, with homemade pesto it will be an even more amazing dish!

Angel Hair with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes Ingredients

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Angel Hair with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes 

  • Prep Time for pesto: 15 Min
  • Prep Time : 5 min
  • Cook Time: 3 Min
  • Servings: 4


For Genovese Pesto:

  • 50 g (1,7 oz) of basil leaves (about 60/65 leaves)
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 70 g (2,4 oz) of Parmigiano Reggiano (about 6 tablespoons)
  • 30 g (1 oz) of Pecorino Fiore Sardo (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 peeled clove of garlic
  • 15 g (0,5 oz) of pine nuts (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4/5 grains of coarse salt
  • ice

For Angel Hair with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes


Recipe for Fresh Basil Pesto

First, you make basil pesto. If you prefer, you can do it 2 or 3 days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator in a glass jar or airtight food container. Cover it with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil to keep it fresh green. Let’s see how to do it.

pesto genovese step 2

Step 1) – For this recipe you need a food processor. So wash the basil leaves with cold water then place them in a large bowl with plenty of ice for 3-4 minutes. Now dry the leaves very well. Place them into the food processor with the garlic, pine nuts and grated Parmigiano.

pesto genovese step 3

Step 2) – Chop the ingredients coarsely for a few seconds then add coarse salt and Pecorino cheese. Blend all the ingredients for about 1 minute. Now add extra virgin olive oil. Blend for about 5 minutes, until you’ll get a creamy green pesto sauce.

pesto genovese

Now Italian basil pesto is ready.

For more details, tips, methods and informations about pesto, read our more detailed recipe: Pesto Genovese | Authentic Italian Basil Pesto

How to Season Tomatoes

Angel Hair with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes step 1b

Step 1) – Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes. Cut them into small pieces and place them in a bowl.

Add a little salt and two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Set aside a few minutes for the tomatoes to release their juices.

How to Cook Angel Hair Pasta

Angel Hair with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes step 2

Step 2) – Bring plenty of salted water to a boil. For the given doses, about 3 liters (12 cups) of water and about 30 g (2 1/4 tablespoons) of coarse salt will do.

PLEASE NOTE: Indicatively, as a rule of thumb is 10 grams (3/4 tablespoon) of coarse salt for every liter of water (4 cups) and every 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of dry pasta. But of course it depends on personal taste, the type of salt used and the flavor of the sauce you use to season the pasta.

When the water boils, pour in the angel hair. If you use the “nest” type, be careful to stir them right away. With the help of a wooden spoon, help the nests open. Cooking times are so fast that you may find clumps of pasta sticking together.

Season and Serve Angel Hair with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes

Angel Hair with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes step 3

Step 3) – After about 2 to 3 minutes of cooking (however, check the time indicated on the package) the angel hair will be cooked. Drain them thoroughly and pour them into a bowl. Add the cherry tomatoes with all their dressing.

Angel Hair with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes step 4

Step 4) – Finally, add the Genovese pesto. Stir very well to distribute the seasoning evenly. Enjoy angel hair with cherry tomatoes and pesto immediately after seasoning. You can complete the dish by adding a few pine nuts and/or some grated Parmigiano cheese.

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Angel hair with pesto and cherry tomatoes should be eaten immediately. They are not suitable to be prepared in advance or to be reheated.

Of course, you can prepare the pesto well in advance and store it as indicated in our recipe for pesto alla genovese.

Angel Hair pasta

Capelli d’Angelo Pasta in the Italian Tradition

The origin of angel hair, a pasta with an evocative name and a very light consistency, is disputed between Genoa, Naples and the Ciociaria area in central Italy.

It’s one of the thinnest shapes in long nested pasta: they have a thickness ranging from 0.78 to 0.88 mm.

Even the name of the angel hair recalls the subtlety characteristic of this format.

Angel hair has ancient origins. It seems that they were already widespread in 17th century Rome.

The original ancient version of capelli d’angelo pasta is that made with egg, flour, and a pinch of salt. It was eaten only with meat broth.

That is why this type of pasta, in the Italian tradition, was widely used with children from 9 months and older, to accustom them to adult meals.

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According to tradition, angel hair without broth was eaten almost exclusively with raw butter and cheese or melted butter with sage and Parmigiano or ricotta cheese.

Recently, the use of other sauces for angel hair has become widespread. Because of the lightness of this pasta, rich and heavy sauces such as meat, sausage or game ragouts are not recommended. These sauces, in fact, would weigh down this fine and delicate pasta too much. Light vegetable-based sauces or simple fresh tomato sauce are recommended.

Definitely, for those who love fish, the combination of Capelli d’Angelo with the delicate flavor of shrimp is very interesting.

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