|Keep It Simple...and Delicious! Cherry Tomato Sauce|
|Right Food for the Season - Late Summer|
|Written by Michelle Collins|
Growing up in New Hampshire, my family and I were fortunate enough to have access to fresh, just-picked-from-the-garden fruits and vegetables. My siblings and I would spend hours in our backyard with buckets, scouring wild blueberries, and picking ripe cherry tomatoes off the vines in our parents’ garden. I recall the summer evenings when my father tended to dinner on the grill, while my siblings and I sat on the back porch, gleefully popping the fresh cherry tomatoes in our mouths (after my mother made sure they were properly washed, of course).
To this day, the taste, smell and sight alone of garden fresh tomatoes screams summer to me. So, when I stopped by the Waltham Farmers' Market last Saturday, I had to grab some yellow and red cherry tomatoes from Bart’s Farm Stand in Leominster. My goal was to make a dish where the taste and juiciness of the tomatoes were the main attractions.
Craving carbohydrates, I headed to Russo’s, in hopes of finding local, freshly made pasta, but all they had on hand that day were cheese filled ravioli or tortellini. With the goal of keeping the flavors of this dish simple, I eventually decided on whole wheat spaghetti. I also bought a loaf of Iggy’s sourdough bread for an appetizer.
The end result was a light, summery pasta dish packed with flavor and the juicy, pleasurable gems I picked up from the farmers' market earlier that day. For the bread, I whipped up some dipping oil – just olive oil, crushed red pepper, garlic, salt and pepper. This meal was simple, easy to make, and downright delicious.
Simple Cherry Tomato Sauce
(Yields: 4 servings)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/8 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (or Romano), plus extra for garnish
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 package whole wheat spaghetti, cooked and drained
Heat olive oil in large skillet on low to medium heat. While olive oil is heating, use a fork to lightly push down on each of the tomato halves, to help release some of the juices. Add tomatoes to the pan, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Add basil and crushed red pepper; stir. Add garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds); add white wine. Cook off wine for another 30 seconds, and add cheese. Add pasta to the pan and toss with the sauce, until pasta is well coated. Serve with some extra Parmesan cheese.