Creamy Tomato Pasta and Fall in September

The high for today is 67 degrees, and it’s September in Texas.
Creamy Tomato Pasta (1)
This is one of those blissfully received cold fronts that blows in for just long enough to make you appreciate the sun when it comes back full force.  The sky is gray and the wind is blowing and every window in my apartment is open.  Gio and Ezio, my two cats, are perched permanently in front of a window on a pillow swishing their tails back and forth at the birds fluttering in the trees just outside.  Poor things.  I think if they were ever given the opportunity to catch a bird they wouldn’t even know what to do with it.
Creamy Tomato Pasta (2)
I remember once Chris and I had just moved into a new apartment and hadn’t unpacked anything but some plates and pillows.  We ordered out and had steaks on the floor in front of the gas fireplace.  Ezio happened to sneak up behind me and when I wasn’t looking ran up to my plate in order to steal the food from it.  Upon realizing how big his prey was and that there was no way for him to sink his teeth in and make a clean getaway he shook his head and ran into the bedroom.  Chris and I laughed and finished our suppers.  I’ll never be able to enjoy a steak again without remembering the look on that poor little cats face.  I doubt he’d react much differently to a steak with wings and a beak.
Creamy Tomato Pasta (3)
This pasta is adapted from Manger, an incredibly beautiful and elegant cooking and lifestyle blog written by a woman who basically lives in my idea of paradise: a small village in the wilds of the French countryside surrounded by her family and lots of adorable pups.  This pasta was posted by her husband, and I’ve made a few adjustments, but it’s one of those dishes you simply have to taste and adjust to suit your tastes as you go along.
Creamy Tomato Pasta (4)
Creamy Tomato Pasta

Adapted from Manger

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Healthy Teaspoons Minced Garlic
1 Pound Can of Good Quality, Whole, Peeled Tomatoes
6 Ounces (or one really big glass) Red Wine
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
2 tsp Granulated Sugar
Couple Pinches of Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper
12 Ounces Farfalle (Bow Tie) Pasta
91 g (6 1/2 Tbls) Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, lightly shredded

100 g Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Heat the olive oil and minced garlic in a large pan over medium heat.  Once heated add the tomatoes and crush them with a large spoon. Add the wine, red pepper flakes, onion powder, dried oregano, sugar and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the saucepan, lower the heat and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Once the sauce has been cooking for about 20 minutes start cooking the pasta.  Heat a large pot of water until boiling, generously salt the boiling water then add the pasta.  Stir the pasta vigorously when initially dumped into the pot, being careful not to splash the water, to ensure it doesn’t stick together, then let it cook to an al dente texture, stirring occasionally.  Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain almost all of the water and mix the pasta in with the sauce.  Add the butter, Parmesan cheese and basil, stirring gently until just combined.  Serve immediately with extra Parmesan and basil on the side.