Summer Pasta

Saturday, July 30, 2011 7 Comments »
Boing! Boing! You can almost hear those 'maters popping on the vine. We seem to have a very good crop this year of Bountiful 100's (cherry tomatoes), Italian plum tomatoes, Better Girls, and whatever else Mr. Green Jeans decided to plant. They are coming in all at once, and hubby is trying to pick them before the birdies peck too many holes in them!

My dad used to make a Summer pasta sauce that was quick, easy, required no cooking, and made good use of all of those yummy 'maters. Soory, but the "recipe" has no specific quantities.  My dad was an eyeball cook, usually dumping things in a bowl until it looked right; I cook the same way.

You'll need:
• Tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes.
• Green onions, chopped, with both white and green parts
• Garlic, minced
• Fresh basil, minced
• EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
• Balsamic vinegar
• Red Wine vinegar
• any other seasoning you like. I use fresh ground pepper, a little sea salt, Mrs. Dash Lemon pepper, and some of Penzey's Tuscan Sunset. If you've got fresh oregano (or dry), that works too.
• pasta. We are currently on a whole wheat kick, but any pasta will do.

Cut up the tomatoes. I cut the cherries into halves or quarters, depending on the size, and the other tomatoes into a large dice. I don't peel them. Throw in the onions, basil and garlic to taste. How much garlic do I use? Let's just say that there will never be a vampire in my neighborhood. If you have a surplus of zucchini or yellow squash, cut those into a small dice, or into very thin slices, and add those too.

Add EVOO, a splash of balsamic, and a little more of the red wine vinegar. You don't want the vinegar to scream at you, but you do want to taste the bite in the background. You want enough liquid in with the tomatoes to enrobe the pasta nicely later on. Add other spices to taste. Mix well, cover, and let sit at room temp for at least 3 hours. You want all of those flavors to become very very good friends. Yes, you can refrigerate overnight, but bring it back to room temp before you use it.

Cook your pasta. Don't overcook -- it should be al dente. Drain, put the quantity you want into a bowl & mix in ladlefuls of the room temperature tomato mixture. Top with freshly grated parmesan (or other sharp Italian cheese), and fresh pepper. My hubby likes to add those dried hot pepper flakes.

That's it! A super easy, make-ahead meal that has all of the wonderful flavors of summer. You can add a grilled protein (chicken, shrimp, or left over thinly sliced steak), but that's not necessary. Tonight I'll probably add a handful of the chickpeas I cooked up earlier in the week -- they will add some interesting texture. A loaf of crusty bread and a nice Chianti make the meal.  Hubby can take me out for a Rita's after!


Bobbi said...

You will deserve a Rita's after that! Yum, making it tomorrow!

Maria said...

Sounds wonderful Pat! When I read the recipe I wondered what EVOO was...thought it must be some American brand of something we can't get here in Aust...but then I worked it out! lol

Jan said...

That looks and sounds wonderful and I confess to having to resort to Google to find out what EVOO is!! I shall certainly try your recipe very soon - such a good idea for summer.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...


Thanks for the recipe.

Let's hear it for the summer bounty. Now I'm hungry.

Pat said...

Jan and Maria: LOL! Blogger has made all of us next door neighbors, even though many of us live in different states or on different continents!

There is a popular TV chef here in the States, Rachel Ray, who started using that term for Extra Virgin Olive Oil on her show. I'm sure chefs have been calling it that for years, but the average home chef would never have known what EVOO was if it weren't for Ms. Ray. I use it without even thinking any more!

Denise in PA said...

Oh, Pat, this sounds divine! What a taste of summer. Pasta is my favorite meal o:)

Lee Prairie Designs said...

Thanks for the recipe ---YUMMMMMM!

Carolyn :)