My Favorite Summer Pasta

It’s the end of summer, when tomatoes are everywhere.  This is the time to make fresh pasta.  Yeah, I know that it can be a royal pain in the bohunkus to make pasta, so you can buy some decent fresh stuff, but the reason for it is to make an uncooked tomato sauce to go with it.  This is such a simple dish, but oh, so tasty!

Here’s what you do.  Find the freshest tomatoes you can.  You need about one medium-sized tomato per person, and make sure that sucker is ripe.  It’s OK if it’s a bit over-ripe.  Then chop it up to a medium dice — skin, seeds and all those lovely juices.  Frankly, if the tomato is really ripe, you won’t really be able to dice it at all — it’ll just smush up.  So, put all that tomato glory in a bowl, add some salt, a tablespoon or two of fruity extra virgin olive oil, one clove of freshly minced garlic, stir it up, and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

Cook the pasta that you’ve made.  And no, I’m not going to tell you how to do that.  Just cut it into a linguine style strand.  You want it somewhat thin, but you don’t want angel hair, either.

While the pasta is cooking, which shouldn’t take much more than 2 or 3 minutes, chop up some fresh basil — several large leaves’ worth for each tomato.  Stir those into the tomatoes.

Drain the pasta just when it’s done and dump the tomato mixture into the still hot pasta pot.  Stir it around for a few seconds to warm it up a bit, then add the cooked pasta back to the pot.  Stir it all up so the pasta is fully coated with the tomato juices and serve.  You’ll want to get the pasta out first, and then spoon some tomato and juices on top.

All you need is a baguette to soak up the liquid heaven.  A glass of wine works, too.  After a few bites, you’ll be in a state of revery, which is what summer is all about.

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15 Responses to My Favorite Summer Pasta

  1. andrea says:

    Now, I know what I’m making for Sunday dinner. Great idea!

  2. Erik says:

    Making fresh pasta is a bit of work, but a couple of things to keep in mind:

    1. There’s probably nothing better you can do in the kitchen with kids. My 6yo and 4yo love it!

    2. I strongly recommend the kitchen aid pasta maker. Not the extrusion one, but the rollers which fit on the front of the mixture. It takes care of the turning the crank part for you and speeds the whole process dramatically.

    3. I kept my hand rolling pasta machine for cutting. I prefer hand cut, but the kids get a real kick out of the crank-n-cut method.

  3. Dana says:

    What is it about tomatoes and wine. Almost every time I see a tomato it makes me want red wine!

  4. Varmint says:

    Every time I’m awake I want some red wine!

    Before we had kids, my wife and I would make a lot of homemade pasta. I’d make the sauce, and she’d make the pasta. It actually took us less time to get the food on the table than with dried pasta, because she could have the pasta ready before the water came to a boil and it only took a couple of minutes to cook. Plus, we used a food processor to start it and we have a motor that connects to our old Atlas crank machine. It’s very helpful.

    With 4 kids, however, we don’t make fresh pasta nearly as often as we used to. Making enough for 2 is a piece of cake. Making enough for 6, including 2 teenagers, is a fair amount of work.

  5. kristine says:

    A friend who lived in Italy introduced me to a wonderful simple pasta dish which features summer tomatoes. super simple and bursting with fresh flavors…

    mix chunks of fresh tomatoes with a couple of chopped garlic cloves, lots of minced fresh Italian parsley, quartered artichoke hearts (I usually use canned), a dash or two of cayenne pepper with a bit of freshly grated nutmeg. Mix lightly together and set aside while cooking pasta noodles. I use cappellini when looking for a quick summer meal.
    Serve with plenty of freshly grated parmesan.

  6. --Lisa S. says:

    Maybe your “state of revery” was just a typo; still, it may qualify as an Eggcorn. Kind of a cross between revelry and reverie? There are some interesting ones here:

    http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/

  7. Varmint says:

    I actually intended to use the word revery. The primary definition of revery is a dream-like state, which this dish truly puts me in. I’m really serious.

    I’ve always liked to use this word after I learned the great Emily Dickinson poem in junior high (one of the few poems I know by heart):

    To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
    One clover, and a bee.
    And revery.
    The revery alone will do,
    If bees are few.

  8. Maura says:

    I make a sauce very similar to this, but I add a bit of lemon juice and some red pepper flakes for an extra kick, and some toasted pine nuts. If you can make this a few hours ahead of time, it’s even better. Dream-like state indeed.

    Unfortunately, like several people I know, my tomatoes plants have been lousy this year.I’ve had very few of them, most of them have been very small and they only ripen one at a time. Broken hearted is not an exaggeration.

  9. --Lisa S. says:

    Sometimes the simplest foods are the best. Probably will just buy pasta (and sorry the fresh pasta market in south Durham has closed), but if this easy tomato sauce inspires revery, then I’m all for trying it! And thanks for the poem!

  10. drcorner says:

    I’ll primarily use Linguine (I really like this type of pasta to most others simply because of its soft texture, and exquisite taste when absorbing seasoned flavors).

    Some finely chopped onions, and a little black-pepper added tot he tomato also gives it a nice taste to compliment the pasta.

    I’ve just finished writing about some more tasty bites, most are quick-n-easy adn can be done in 15 minutes. Please check it out, and comment on what you think. Thanks, I appreciate it.

    http://drcorner.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/this-labor-day-barbecue-like-a-rockstar/

  11. Ann says:

    I made this same dish using a Lynne Rosetta Kasper recipe and it is absolutely fabulous! A friend gave me a few home grown tomatoes and I used them in this recipe.

  12. Lisa -- says:

    This has been a standard issue summer dish in my house for absolute years. How can you go wrong? Summer tomatoes, garlic, basil, fantastic olive oil? YUM.

  13. ncn8tive says:

    A similar recipe was in an issue of Cook’s Illustrated several years ago. In my adaptation, I use radiatorre and add some finely minced, oil cured olive instead of salt. I like radiatorre because it has more nooks and crannies to hold the “sauce”. Mmmm…I think I need to head over to the farmer’s market this weekend.

  14. Kapil says:

    Totally agree about the cherry or smllear tomatoes. My annalise and yellow pear tomatoes are producing a ton of fruit, while the larger tomatoes require so much more work for such a small amount of fruit. I think I just might stick with salad tomatoes next year. Thanks for the tips on the suckers. I’m going to try not to by seed for the hybrids next year and over winter using this propagation method instead.

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