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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Tomato-and-wine-laced pasta an angel of a time-saver

Thursday, July 22, 1999

Tested by Betsy Kline

Angel Hair Pasta was actually on Mary Mannella's mind when we touched base with her last week. She'd just made it for dinner a few nights before -- with the addition of some chopped, sautéed zucchini.

"I've been making it for seven years," the Penn Hills homemaker and mother of 7-year-old Christopher told us. A girlfriend passed it along to her. It's great food for those on high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets: notice the absence of oil. Herbs and white wine provide the flavor, a handful of grated cheese some added interest.

Mannella's most recent contribution to Countdown -- she's already earned a cookbook with her Marmalade Chicken -- comes together in the time it takes to boil water and cook pasta. Just mix the sauce ingredients, add to the drained pasta and you're on your way.

Mannella says she likes to "cook things fast, especially in summer when it's so hot."

As an added incentive, her family is adjusting to a new timetable, since husband Ed has just started a new job that sends him home a little later.

She likes to cook from cookbooks, and she'll be adding another to her shelf for taking the time to share this recipe.

She's looking forward to many repeats of this dish: her Burpee tomatoes are just now ripening in her garden.

Angel Hair Pasta

1 pound angel hair pasta
4 fresh tomatoes, diced, or 2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
Juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon
Dash fresh oregano and basil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions.

Meanwhile, in skillet combine tomatoes, wine, lemon juice and herbs and simmer for 20 minutes.

When pasta is ready, drain and pour the sauce over it and enjoy. Then add freshly grated Parmesan cheese over pasta. Makes 4 servings.

Note: Mary serves this with crusty Italian bread and a salad.

Do you have an entrée, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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