I have been eating tomatoes morning, noon, and night right now. I am certainly getting my fill. I made this easy pasta dish a few times now. It’s easy and quick and it tastes great hot or cold. The only thing you have to cook is the pasta!
Summer Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce:
1 box of pasta in any shape you like… I love mini-penne made by Barilla.
1/2 medium red onion, cut into thin 1 inch sections
3 garlic cloves (smashed and minced)
3 tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper
3 large tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1/2 lb feta cheese or fresh mozzarella
A handful of fresh basil leaves
Cook the pasta in salted water. Reserve at least 1/2 cup of the pasta water when draining the pasta. Place the onion, garlic and butter in a bowl and pour 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water them. Let the mixture sit for at least ten minutes, the butter will melt and the garlic and onion flavor will infuse in the water.
Chop up the tomatoes and mix them in with the pasta in separate large bowl. Take the basil leaves, stack them up, roll them together, and slice them into thin strips (chiffonade) and mix them in with the pasta and tomatoes. Pour the pasta water mixture over the pasta and mix. Break up the feta or cut up the mozzarella and add it into the pasta and serve. The heat from the pasta makes the tomatoes kind of melt, creating a sauce that coats the pasta. This meal is really good the next day because the pasta soaks up all of the flavors.
This is the simple version I made the other night when I had some of my girlfriends over for dinner. I used whole wheat pasta this time.
You could also add other veggies really easily. I added yellow wax beans and baby zucchini to one version of this dish. I just cut the zucchini into little circles and the beans into 1 inch pieces.
You do not have to cook the veggies in a separate pan. Just drop them in the boiling water with the pasta about a minute before the pasta is done. You won’t have another pot to clean and they will be perfectly cooked, not over cooked. I have also been using local garlic because a few stands have it at market right now.
I added green beans into this version. I used the same technique of dropping them into the boiling pasta right before it was done. I used the fresh mozzarella cut into cubes in this one as well. I also added some extra herbs in addition to the basil (I used purple basil this time) I also added Italian flat leaf parsley and a few chives.
Be creative with your veggies! I usually just walk around market and get what ever looks the best and freshest. Simple, easy, quick and delicious.