Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tomatoes again - I just can't stop!

Heirlooms for the Salad/Pasta Recipe

One more week with a tomato based recipe from me - they are just too good and too available in so many fascinating forms, I can't resist sharing this very versatile and easy recipe.

The World's Best Tomato Salad AKA Great Summer Pasta Sauce!

Chop an array of heirloom tomatoes into chunks; cut really good cherry tomatoes in half.  The idea is to have a colorful, varied in color and size, collection of tomatoes.

Put all of the chopped tomatoes into a strainer over a bowl (Remember last week's recipe?  Don't forget to collect that tomato water!).  Salt the tomatoes and toss them lightly (hands work best, you don't want to mush them); salt a bit more - I use a good chunky sea salt - toss again, and then let the tomatoes sit and drain for 15 - 20 minutes minimum. 

After the tomatoes have drained, save the tomato water for other uses - we use a jar in the 'fridge - put the chopped tomatoes in the bowl and add the following - all the additions are really to taste;  if in doubt, 3 parts olive oil to one part vinegar is a good rule of thumb for the liquids:

a chopped chili pepper - if you like a bit of spice
crumbled good dry oregano
a few slivers of fresh garlic
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
good red wine vinegar

Again, gently toss.  I like to cover the bowl, let it sit at room temperature - the tomatoes will absorb the flavors of the spices more that way.

This mixture is great on toasted bread rubbed with garlic; it's wonderful over fresh greens with some chunks of fresh mozarella; and it is also wonderful all by itself as a side dish.

It keeps well in the 'fridge for about a week - especially if you add more tomato chunks as you eat the salad.

NOW - when you have a bit of this fabulous tomato salad left AND you have a craving for some pasta - here's a delicious way to use it.

Cook your pasta - whatever kind you like, but farfalle, fusilli - in general "shaped" pasta works best in catching all of the juices and flavor;
Drain your pasta well;
Pour the tomato salad - all of it - over the hot pasta and toss well;
Add good grated parmesan, or mozarella chunks, or both if you want;
You may also want to toss in some fresh basil leaves if you have it; and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, you get the idea, feel free to play with the add - ons.  Recently we added some anchovies - fabulous!
You may also want to add more extra virgin olive oil - but so far, I haven't needed it;

Enjoy!  Believe me, you will!

That's this week's Thursday recipe from the Foodist - what's yours?


  1. Yum! Get ready- you're attending the first annual Larken Springs Farm Tomato Festival this weekend. All tomatoes, all the time, starting with your first cocktail! XO

  2. We are soooo excited about that! The menu line up was not lost on us! I am leaving this salad with some pasta and cheese for the folks who are taking care of the cats, the garden and the mini - farm. I wouldn't dare bring toms to Larken Springs!!XO