Everywhere I go these days I am reminded of the bounty of the season.
Road side stands are bursting with tomatoes, melons, corn, peaches, squashes and berries of all variety.
My own garden has been gifting me daily with all manner of produce.
The tiny plants and seeds I set out a few months ago are now large and heavy with produce.
This has shifted my cooking focus from French, Italian and Bistro to: what can I make with with all this stuff before I have to can, freeze or give it away?
The following pasta recipe is quick, healthy and beautiful when plated. An added benefit is that it won't heat up your kitchen in these dog days of August. I think you'll enjoy,
Penne with Fresh Tomatoes and Herbs: serves 4
1 pound penne or cavatelli pasta
1 pound tomatoes - any variety, preferably homegrown or farm bought. (I used a combination of red and yellow grape tomatoes because that's what I had the most of)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh herbs, minced (rosemary, parsley and thyme work well together)
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly grated Parmesan for passing
Set your pot to boiling for the pasta. Add salt to the boiling water and cook according to manufacturer's suggestion.
Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a small saute pan. When oil is hot, add garlic and saute just until aromatic. Turn off heat and add 1/2 the fresh herbs, set aside.
Seed and dice your tomatoes over a small bowl to catch the juices. (discard seeds, add diced tomatoes to bowl) Add fresh herbs and balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Drain pasta, Toss with garlic, herb and olive oil mixture.
Plate pasta and pass tomato, herb and vinegar combo to top pasta with. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
Simple, colorful and all about the bounty of the season.
A Cook's Notes: This is a great, light vegetarian meal. If you are feeding hungry teenage boys they will not be amused. I added a Caesar salad and barbecued chicken breast to their plates and they were duly sated (for a few hours anyway)