But I couldn't, and wouldn't, take it any more. I had to do something, even if it was just so I could get my personal fix! Honestly - more than any other garden produce we've ever grown, cherry tomatoes in particular are the one thing I crave from the moment the tiny fruits start appearing on the vines until well after the frost has fallen and there's no hope for any new ones for another year. I eat them off the vine like the candy that nature intends them to be. I dry them for winter storage. I freeze them for later sauce making. I even add pieces of slightly damaged cherries to sauces and chili without bothering to peel them at all! Not to mention that their naturally self-contained bubbles of Summer would be fabulous in an application as unique as Thunder Cake.
So the last say of my Summer vacation, while the [step]parentals were out, I pulled my Ninja trick once again and filled a relatiely small bowl with bright red, full-to-bursting with juice marbles of tomatoey goodness. I already had a fairly solid idea of what I would do with them too: a perfect end of the season pasta filled with bites of ever so slightly charred, roasted tomato, fresh basil (again from my own garden!) some rice-based spaghetti and a decadent knob of (fairly) local goat's cheese. And I wasn't disappointed in the least! The cheese melts just enough to meld seamlessly with the sugary-sweet, hot juices from the burst tomatoes, and together the sauce forms a gauzy blanket over a bed of pasta before being showered with a chiffonade of bright green herbage. Like the second time (in a week, no less!) that I made this recipe, it's even better if you toss a very al-dente cooked vegetable like broccoli into the pan sauce and pasta mixture and allow the flavours to soak into each other and the denser plant fibres.
I still can't believe that I was able to write this post without seriously drooling on my keyboard - just looking back at the few photos I snapped pre-bite is sending me into another craing cycle! I hope the readers at Ruth's Presto Pasta Nights round up (hosted by The Crispy Cook (AKA Rachel) feel the same!
Summer's Candy Pasta
10 oz cherry tomatoes
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 tsp lemon juice
4 oz whole wheat pasta (short cuts work best, like rotini)
5-6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
3 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 375F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash cherry tomatoes, then toss with salt and pepper while still wet.
- Place on the sheet with the garlic and roast for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss with lemon juice and set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add pasta and cook to al dente.
- Drain, reserving a quarter- to half-cup of cooking water, and return to the pot.
- Add basil, cheese and tomatoes with enough of the pasta water to make it slightly saucy, stirring well.
- Divide pasta between bowls and serve with additional black pepper if desired.
Total Fat: 10.6 g
Cholesterol: 38.0 mg
Sodium: 165.3 mg
Total Carbs: 51.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.7 g
Protein: 15.1 g