May: Capellini w/Tomatoes, Basil, & Goat Cheese

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May is the perfect month to begin thinking about al fresco dining. Capellini with Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese is just the dish to kick-off this merry month when all eyes  turn to bright new blooms and chirping birds. This is always my “go-to” spring pasta dish when I want something fresh, fresh, fresh! It is easy, quick, and requires very little cooking. The freshness of the ingredients makes me want to quickly RUN outdoors with a chilled white wine to enjoy my first experience of the season dining On the Patio. So grab a nice Sauvignon Blanc and follow me to my Italian Table!


Serves: 4

Prep: 10 min.

Cook: 15 min.


1 lb Capellini Pasta (very thin long pasta) cooked according to directions

3/4 c. Olive Oil

2 large cloves of FRESH Garlic – chopped finely

2 c. Grape tomatoes cut into halves – grape tomatoes are so sweet and will sweeten the dish  (The equally sweet Campari tomatoes cut into quarters are fine as well – cherry tomatoes can also be used but usually are not as sweet)

Juice of 1/2 FRESH Lemon

1/2 c. White Wine (preferably the same as the wine you will serve with it)

1 tsp. Kosher Salt – or to taste

Freshly ground Black Pepper

1 c. FRESH Basil – chopped

3-4 oz Goat Cheese crumbled in bits ( do not use pre-packaged crumbled goat cheese)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling at finish


Use all FRESH ingredients where indicated.

Heat olive oil and add chopped garlic.

Cook  a couple of minutes to tenderize the garlic – do not brown it. Just let it infuse the oil.

Add tomatoes and stir.


Add lemon juice and stir

SEE MY VIDEO HERE! –> Linda’s Capellini VIDEO

Add wine  – then salt and pepper

Cook on medium high a few minutes until reduces by 1/2.

Sauce will thicken slightly and turn a beautiful golden color.


Add Pasta and toss.

Add Basil and Goat Cheese.


Drizzle with a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil before serving. I like Olio Carli – It is sweet and seems to make every dish perfect.


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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

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  1. Stephanie Wahl says:

    Oh, I’m really going to love making this! Love your video!

    • Thanks, Stephanie! Hope you enjoy it. I think you’ll be surprised at how easy it is, and how much you’ll appreciate the freshness.

  2. YUM! This is the perfect summer dish! Can’t wait to make it.

  3. Linda,
    I absolutely LOVE your videos !
    They are easy to follow and help build my self confidence.
    I now know what the dishes and stages of preparation are supposed to look like.
    Thank you .

    • Thank you, Peggy. I’m glad you find the videos helpful and hope you’ll continue to enjoy the recipes.

  4. Linda,
    I absolutely Love the addition of the videos to your website.
    The steps are easy to follow and help me know what each stage of
    of the recipe is supposed to look like.
    Your pace and formatting is perfect for the novice , as well as experienced
    Thank you for translating my grandmother’s directions:
    “Watch, take a little of that and a pinch of that ” in something I have confidence to attempt.

  5. Cathy Conlon says:

    I made this dish again..this time with fresh goat cheese from a farmer on Cayuga Lake. It was so easy. Joe couldn’t stop eating it. He had 4 helpings..I am known for my non cooking so I felt like a chef after making this..

    • Cathy – How nice to hear that you liked the dish enough to make it again! You should definitely feel like a chef – you are the chef in YOUR kitchen!. Hooray for you!

  6. Thanks Linda for explaining the difference between grape and cherry tomatoes, wow! who would have known? That is why what I bring home from the market sometimes are sweet and sometimes are not. How long can I heat tiny little tomatoes before they taste like cooked tomatoes?? Also would love a category for suprise company, my favorite!! Keep it coming, Peg

    • Peg – As far as cooking the tomatoes, it takes 5-10 minutes depending on the heat level to cook the liquid and the tomatoes down. The idea on this one is to reduce the liquid by about 1/2. The beauty of this is that the tomatoes taste fresh and not mushy like canned. As for drop in company, check out the recipes. There are several that can be made ahead and frozen – for instance the Gorgonzola Biscuits in the post: “Tuscan Sunsets and Stinky Cheese”. Thanks for your comment!

  7. Marti Faytko says:

    Hi Linda,
    I made this for dinner tonight. It was wonderful!! The aroma was delightful, too! Andy says this is a winner, a keeper. The photos are so helpful for a novice like me. My only question is about the goat cheese. I bought a 4 oz. piece of it, and it didn’t all “crumble”. What can I do next time? Later this week I’m trying the artichoke recipe. Can’t wait! Thanks for your recipes and your help. I really appreciate it – and so does my husband!

    • So glad you enjoyed this, Marti and thanks for trying it. I find that taking the Goat Cheese a chunk at a time and crumbling it with my fingers works best. That way I can control just how small I want the pieces to be.

  8. Looks wonderful! ANotehr dish I need o try! Where can I find that dish you cooked it in by the way?

    • Barbara – The cooking pan is Calphalon Non-Stick 14″. It has a cover also. It happens to be one of my favorite cooking vessels because of its overall size and depth. It is perfect for Linguine Alle Vongole (Clams) and I also use it often for risotto as it exposes a large surface to even heat. It can be found through any merchant carrying a good variety of Calphalon products.

  9. Marti Faytko says:

    Linda, I made this again for dinner tonight. Delicious, just like the first time. And we used basil from our garden – kind of a thrill for a first time gardener. Your recipes are the most wonderful I’ve ever made. Tuesday night I’m making the cod with potatoes & fennel – can’t wait! I’ve shared the strawberries with mascarpone/sambuca/powdered sugar – much to the delight of friends and relatives!! We also dipped black raspberries in the leftover cheese mixture – yum!

    • Marti -Sounds like you are in a good cooking groove. Isn’t is wonderful to have your own herbs to use in your dishes?? I like to think they taste better! Those strawberries are great to rely on for quick and easy summer desserts too. Thank you!