One of my most favorite summer recipes - especially once the tomatoes come on - is this wonderfully simple Italian dish. Tom's sister Jennifer served her mission in Italy, and came home with an amazing assortment of yummy dishes that I haven't tried very hard to learn to make. So instead we just use her as slave labor in the kitchen when she comes to visit, and watch while she does it.
Yo Jennifer! You should post some of these recipes on your blog and then I could just copy and/or link to your blog. That would save me a lot of effort and also ensure that I get it right.
But THIS dish, I know how to make, thanks to Jen's capable tutelage.
6-8 medium tomatoes (or more, if you really really like tomatoes)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (the dark green stuff)
1-2 cloves of Garlic
Basil leaves, dried or fresh chopped
1 pound angel hair pasta
This recipe makes a LOT of pasta. The first time or so, until you're confident with it, I'd suggest cutting the quantities in half.
In a very large bowl, combine diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and basil. Add enough basil so that it looks pretty. How's that for exact instructions!! It is possible to add too much basil, but I've never done it. Let your heart be your guide. It will look like this:
Set bowl aside and let the flavors flow together for at least 10 minutes. The longer the better.
I must warn you that the garlic flavor will intensify over time, especially the day after you make it. So unless you really love a lot of garlic, you may want to add just one glove the first time, until you know what works best for you.
Bring 2-3 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 Tbsp of salt. This is very important. If you don't add salt to the water, your pasta will taste bland and just wrong. Cook angel hair according to package directions... usually 3-4 minutes. Do not overcook.
Drain, then pour hot pasta over the tomato mixture. Using a pasta scooper-claw thingy, toss the pasta to mix the oil and tomatoes throughout. Add more oil if it seems dry. Gravity being what it is, most of the oily slippery slidey tomatoes will tend to want to hang out at the bottom. You'll have to go hunting for them when serving to plates.
Now I know it doesn't look fancy. But it isn't supposed to be fancy. It's Peasant Pasta after all!
This dish can be eaten warm or cold, but I prefer it warm. It is easily made ahead, and is one of those dishes that actually tastes better the second day. So make it up today, and feel the love, baby!