This recipe marks the first new dish I've made in our new apartment in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was a good one to start with, too. I was looking for a way to use the gorgeous local tomatoes I found at Whole Foods, so I dug up a Recipezaar (now Food.com) recipe I had bookmarked several months ago. (It's great when I actually go back to recipes I mentally labeled as "try this out later." I don't usually remember to do that!) This is an easy one for a hot summer day (and we've got plenty of those in NC), and it came together pretty quickly, despite the obnoxious stove here. The sauce was light and fresh, with a lovely sweetness and tang from the balsamic vinegar.
You will need:
- 1 lb of dried pasta [see my note below]
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4-6 fresh tomatoes
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 1 bunch of fresh basil [I ended up with a little less than 1/2 cup of packed leaves]
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Start heating up a stockpot of water for the pasta. Meanwhile, core the tomatoes and chop them into big chunks. Mince the garlic cloves.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain.
- While the pasta is cooking, saute the garlic in oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until just golden.
- Add the tomatoes, vinegar, salt, pepper, and oregano; cover and simmer 7-10 minutes, or until the tomatoes fall apart.
- Julienne the basil leaves. Remove the saucepan from heat, and add the basil and parmesan to the tomato sauce, stirring gently.
- Pour the tomato sauce over the drained pasta and toss to coat. Serve with extra parmesan, if desired.
I really didn't make any changes to this recipe, besides re-ordering some of the ingredients and clarifying some of the directions. I just wish I had used a different shape of pasta. The penne got too slippery in the sauce, and it was difficult to pick up a chunk of tomato along with the pasta. I think something like medium shells or cavatappi would work a little better. I also wish I had served this with crusty bread so I could mop up the sweet, garlicky broth when I was done! I would definitely recommend you try this one before tomato season is over.