Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Post-Irene Summer Tomato Pasta

The quintessential summer dish!

With all the drama of Irene and her aftermath, many of us don't have much time to spend on dinner these days.  If you have power (and we sincerely hope that you do), this one-dish summer pasta meal is the way to go.

While visiting relatives in Vermont earlier this month, I tossed together this lovely and simple dish from the bounty of a local farm stand.  It was a definite hit, and I am confident we will be invited for a repeat visit.  (Sadly, Irene did a number on the town, and we send our good wishes to the citizens of Quechee as they recover.)

While we are far from that rustic little produce shack, we are fortunate to enjoy the bounty of Reading Terminal Market, where the fixings for this summer stunner await you.

Farm Stand Pasta
(serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side)

3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 TBSP olive oil
2 perfect tomatoes, coarsely chopped,. being sure to preserve the precious juice to include in the sauce
a handful of basil leaves, cut in slices with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (be generous)
1 lb pasta cooked al dente in salted water, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water in case you need to add to sauce
1/3 cup parmesan cheese

While pasta cooks, place all ingredients but cheese in a large, shalllow bowl.  Stir to blend.  When pasta is done, drain thoroughly and dump it into the bowl on top of the tomato mixture.  Toss well; if it seems dry, add pasta water a TBSP at a time til consistency is right.  Before serving, top with cheese and toss again.

We served the pasta alongside grilled sausages but it can certainly stand alone.

As far as the hurricane, well, good riddance. Better yet, in the immortal words of Leadbelly....

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