Saturday, July 18, 2009

Best tomato pasta

I love when food bloggers turn you on to their own favorite recipes and then those become your favorite recipes. I tend to favor really easy recipes since I do not have a lot of time for preparation these days. Before I worked strenuous weeks, I loved to make complicated rich dishes for myself and Mister Siren or anyone else who was around. Now, it's all about ease of prep, saving time, saving money, and deliciousness.

Plus, the numero uno rule in the summer: I LOVE TOMATOES. Last summer I ate a tomato every day for lunch, salted with olive oil. To round out my stomach and get me through the day, I'd eat a small serving of cottage cheese and maybe some avocado if I could find one. I think next year I will plant even more tomato plants b/c the yield from these is not quite enough for my daily lunch needs + our dinner needs.

But anyway, I digress. I found my new favorite recipe, which is coincidentally the favorite recipe of MattBites. The recipe is actually from Gourmet magazine several years ago but based on Matt's recommendation, I have now fallen in love with it and will probably be making it for the next several years as often as possible.

Capellini With Fresh Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 3 lb tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lb dried capellini (angel-hair pasta)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Accompaniments:

    finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling (optional)
  • Mince garlic and mash to a paste with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife.
  • Core and coarsely chop two thirds of tomatoes. Halve remaining tomatoes crosswise, then rub cut sides of tomatoes against large holes of a box grater set in a large bowl, reserving pulp and discarding skin. Toss pulp with chopped tomatoes, garlic paste, lemon juice, salt, sugar (if using), and pepper. Let stand until ready to use, at least 10 minutes.
  • While tomatoes stand, cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately add to tomato mixture, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with basil.
The photo above is credited to Gourmet Magazine.

You can also go to and see his beautiful, perfect version.

Now, when I made this with juicy, delicious tomatoes from my garden (heh heh, don't you wish you had some?) i had more fun than I ever thought I would, grating tomatoes. Who would have thought the act of grating tomatoes would bring so much pleasure?
Once you grate and chop all of the tomatoes, you have a big bowl of pulp and chopped pieces.

And it says only one clove of garlic but I am very disobedient when it comes to garlic. Fresh basil from the garden, too - and the basil, by the way, is not looking too good these days. It is really flowering and I am going to have to raze it to the ground and just make pesto and freeze it soon. :( It's the most common thing I use!

I made the mistake of cooking the pasta first and then making this sauce, so then I had to wait the required 10 minimum minutes for the sauce to gel . . . I could barely make it.

I was very excited for the last 16 seconds.

Here is my finished product.

I love this china dearly. It is my grandmother's and was passed down to my mom and then to me. I realize though that it is not well suited to food photos. I need some white serving pieces to photograph from.

That aside, this dish makes me drool. We use whole grain pasta which has a distinctive taste and makes it even better. Basically, we were fighting over the leftovers the next day.

File this under YUM.


Chris said...

"Not all of us lucky as you to have their own garden.", says the green eyed jealousy monster... BEsides arent tomatoes supposed to be at their best at the end of the summer?

Siren said...

heh heh actually since it is cooler here they have not been growing as fast or ripening as fast, is what I hear. So, i guess I will get a glut when it finally gets hot. But at least i still have quite a bit of lettuce. B/c i am eating salad from the garden 2-3 nights a week still

Sally said...

Your tomatoes are looking great in that dish. Some of the best pasta recipes are that simple--a few vegetables, a little bit of basil.

TKW said...

I can't get a handle on my basil this year either. It flowers overnight, I swear! I make a similar dish and am planning to post it soon; don't grate the tomatoes though--interesting twist!