Garlic and Cherry Tomato Pasta

5 years ago in the town of Penticton, British Columbia I had a pasta dish at a little restaurant named Villa Rosa. It was angel hair pasta, with a light tomato, basil, garlic (a LOT of garlic) sauce. It was good. So good that I have literally tried to re-create that dish in my kitchen for the last 5 years. For some reason it never turns out as light and delicious (or garlicky) as I remember it. But I have discovered the secret, totally by accident...and now I am going to share it. A thin rice vermicelli, and a combination of cooked and raw garlic turn this dish into a garlic lovers paradise.  The pasta is so light you cannot tell it is rice instead of wheat, and when paired with a sauce that is heavy on fresh vegetables and light on the blended sauce, it almost recreates what I remember. And since I doubt I will get any closer, here it is!
(Bonus- gluten free Italian, unheard of!)

Garlic & Cherry Tomato Pasta
Vermicelli brown rice noodles
1 cup cherry tomatoes -roughly chopped
1 large hothouse tomato
6-7 cloves garlic
1/2 yellow onion
5-6 basil leaves finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil

1.) Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large pot or pan. Finely chop onion and garlic and add to pan, reserving 1 clove of garlic. Sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
 2.) Add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and Italian seasoning. Chop and add hothouse tomato and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
3.) While sauce is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add vermicelli rice noodles and cook until tender.
4.) When noodle are just about done add chopped cherry tomatoes, half of the basil, and remaining chopped garlic to sauce and return to a simmer.
5.)When sauce is heated through, drain pasta and toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Top with sauce and sprinkle with remaining basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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