First Time Cooking for Friends? Here’s a Dish That’s Sure to Please!

  |     |   Food and Drink

If you’re planning to cook for friends and it’s your first time arranging a dinner for others, you may be feeling slightly intimidated by the task before you. But fear not! 

When you’re a beginner in any discipline, it’s best to start slow and easy. And the same goes for cooking. Below, we have a quick and simple dish that anyone can make — even if you’re a novice in the kitchen. It’s not expensive, vegetarian, always a crowd-pleaser, and most of all, absolutely mouthwatering.

Oh, and did we mention it takes just 20 minutes to make?

It’s called Pomodoro Fresco (literally “fresh tomatoes” in Italian… but don’t worry, it’s got other delicious ingredients too)!

Let’s get started!

Pomodoro Fresco: The Recipe

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb. ripe tomatoes on the vine
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cloves minced or mashed garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, divided
  • 1 tbsp. grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 to 2 sun-dried tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Start by pureeing the tomatoes in a food processor. Set aside.

2. Next, in a large pan or skillet, heat the olive oil and add the garlic. 

3. Slowly sauté over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

4. Pour the tomato puree you set aside in step one into the pan with the olive oil and garlic. Bring the pan to a simmer and leave, stirring occasionally. 

5. In the meantime, boil some water in a pot. Add salt to the water. Once it begins boiling, add in your 4 ounces of penne pasta. 

6. Cook the pasta until it is “al dente” (slightly undercooked); then drain it, taking care to reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water. 

7. Add the cooked pasta, the set-aside drained water, and basil (minus 1 tablespoon) into the tomato sauce and stir. 

8. Allow the mixture to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. 

9. Plate the pasta for your guests and garnish with the fresh Parmesan cheese and remaining basil.

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