There has been very little resting but my hands are trying to quietly wait until the studio is set up again, there is peace in the house (change that to reduced chaos in the household because, let’s be realistic!) and I can once again focus on art.
Summer is flying by, the vegetable garden is in full swing, though the tomatoes are being stubborn little buggers and we’ve only picked two ripe ones so far! The plants themselves are immense and loaded with green tomatoes but so far, no huge bowls of fresh tomato and basil pasta, my version of caprese salad except with pasta. Last year I canned a great relish using the end of season green tomatoes so even if they don’t ripen I still have something to look forward to!
For those of you who DO have fresh ripe garden tomatoes right now the recipe below is what I do with them. No store bought tomatoes for this recipe unless you are lucky enough to have a store that sells fresh from the farmer. If you don’t have a garden try one of the Farmer’s Market vendors. It also makes a huge difference if you use a rich balsamic and extra virgin olive oil. I don’t go crazy expensive here, but I try to get ones a cut above what I use for cooking.
3 pounds sweet tomatoes, peeled and cut into pieces*
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. high quality balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp. high quality olive oil
1/2 cup loosely packed diced fresh basil leaves
1 pound penne
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated (you can also use slices of fresh mozzarella but I like having the cheese in every bite!)
Toss the tomato pieces and garlic in a bowl with the vinegar and oil. Add basil.Chill.
Cook the pasta al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to chill. Toss with the tomato mixture and add salt and pepper to taste if desired.
I like to serve this chilled. I refrigerate the tomato mixture and pasta separately then toss before serving. Great served with a good french bread to soak up the juices. Enjoy!
*Sometimes if my tomatoes aren’t as sweet as I like I add a touch of sugar to them.