Introduction: Freshest Summer Tomato Pasta
Many years ago a chef friend (Daniel Roberts) saw our bounty of tomatoes and offered to show us this simple, elegant, and incredibly tasty dish. It captures the essence of summer with fresh tomatoes and basil. By not cooking very long (just enough to heat the tomatoes) you retain the true tomato taste instead of a sauce flavor.
With its ease, short cook time and bold, fresh flavors, I am sure that this will be a favorite for you as it is for us.
NOTE: If you feel you NEED a protein, a nice grilled chicken breast is delicious with it. Given how light the dish is, butterfly one for every two people.
This makes 4 servings as the only dish or with a salad. You can increase or decrease the volumes as needed for different sized crowds. If you are serving a protein with it, of course you can serve more people.
- About 2-3 cups of tomatoes (peeled, "juiced", and cut)
- 5-7 cloves of garlic (sliced)
- 1 large handful of fresh basil (torn or cut)
- Olive oil
- Pasta for serving on
- (Angel Hair or Vermicelli)
Step 1: Prep Your Produce
- Optional: Peel your tomatoes - For a most delectable dish, I recommend peeling the tomatoes. This eliminates skins and makes the dish more attractive.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. I use the size required for cooking the pasta (remember don't crowd your pasta...use a big pot)
- Immerse in boiling water for about 30 seconds. You may see the skin split on the tomato...those are definitely done.
- Immediately immerse in cold water...the colder the better. This will stop the cooking of the tomato. We are just trying to loosen the skin.
- With a paring knife or your fingers, remove the skin from the tomato. if it won't loosen up, put back in the boiling water for a few more seconds.
- Peel fresh garlic cloves
- Slice them longways...like slivered almonds. The goal is to get nice thin slices. The sliced garlic has a much milder flavor than other methods of cutting.
- I like about 7, unless they are huge. Adjust based on the size of the cloves.
- Set aside
- Daniel left it large.
- I prefer closer to chiffonade
- Set aside
Step 2: Start Your Pasta
The delicacy of this dish desmands a finer pasta. The ideal is either angel hair or vermicelli.
They do not take long to cook, so it is your call as to whether you start them before the "sauce" or not. I have found that the sauce is best immediately after cooking, so I try to have them all done at the same time.
Be sure to salt your water well...since we will not be adding any salt to the "sauce".
Step 3: Start Cooking Garlic (time, About 1-2 Minutes)
- In a wide sauce pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil until hot.
- Have your produce ready at hand
- Put the garlic into the hot oil and stir it regularly. Watch for it to just start to get a little golden...no more than that or it will start to get bitter. This is why the thin slices.
Step 4: Add Basil
Once the garlic is just golden, throw in the basil and stir quickly.
Step 5: Add Tomatoes and Finish Cooking (time 3-4 Minutes)
Immediately add the tomatoes and begin to cook...tossing if you are brave, or stirring if not.
You only need to cook until tomatoes are warmed through...you are done!
Diners may add salt or pepper as desired.