Thursday, July 16, 2009

summer tomatoes

Tomatoes are super sweet in the valley of California. This is home to some of the best tomatoes grown in the world. Most valley farmers also grow heirloom tomatoes. Heirlooms are featured colorful orbs in the farmers' market throughout all the communities of our Golden state.

When the tomato is in season, it is best eaten simply and plainly. Let the flavor rule the dish! Here is a simple dish for tomato and pasta lovers. With the addition of fresh basil, this dish will seem like a gourmet celebration made at the best restaurant in town! You will never miss "jar tomato sauce."

1 Tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 head of garlic (or more)
diced 1/2 onion (sautee)
30 cherry tomatoes (yellow heirlooms)
10 basil leaves
1/4 tblsp of chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 tbsp of chopped fresh oregano
salt, pepper to taste
parmesan cheese (optional)

Bring a pot of water w/ 1 Tbsp of oil to a boil to cook the pasta. While waiting for water to boil, place a skillet on medium high heat w/ 1/8th of cup of oil. Add diced onions and sautee. Add garlic and slightly brown. Add cherry tomatoes. Stir until tomatoes are completely wilted and skins are falling off. Stir and add all herbs. The mix will be a light sauce. Meantime, drain the cooked pasta lightly and place all noodles into the skillet to coat the pasta. Because the pasta is not well-drained, the starches will make the light tomato sauce creamy without the addition of cheeses or dairy products. Add the rest of the olive oil. Toss. Add more chopped basil on top before you serve. This is a total vegan dish without the cheese topping.

Variations: add leftover meats or other vegetables. This is also a great accompaniment to a pot luck where it can be served at room temperature... but it is best enjoyed with a group of friends sitting around a campfire and talking about the rafting trip that you just did. Woot!

Thank you Wikipedia for the Heirloom Tomato info and picture!