FEED REGULARLY

My mom told me that when I was born, I came with an instruction manual containing only two words: FEED REGULARLY.

She told my husband shortly after we started dating,

                "you know, Laurie really likes to eat"


That's nice. Well, I do like to eat, so I can't really blame her.
The point is, we are nearing the end of the summer bounty of tomatoes, berries, melon, corn, sweet onions, snap peas, stone fruits..... All of the ingredients that make even the least "Julia-esque" home cook look like an iron chef.

I want to savor the last taste of summer, so long after the local farmer's market has closed for the season (which turns out is this week), I'll remember this day, this recipe, which was recently featured in the New York Times:
Roasted tomato pasta.
Roasting tomatoes on low heat for a ridiculous amount of time, it turns out, makes ridiculously good tomatoes! For those of you who would rather not spend the equivalent of a work day watching tomatoes transform in your oven, you can execute this step overnight.


Summer Pasta
Time: 4 to 6 hours (mostly for roasting tomatoes)


For the roasted tomatoes:
2 1/2 pounds tomatoes (may be imperfect or overripe)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar

For the assembly:
Salt
1 pound pasta like farfalle, penne or fusilli
4 to 6 cloves garlic, finely minced and mashed
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 ears corn, lightly steamed
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes (preferably low-acid orange or yellow), halved or quartered
12 ounces fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup mixed herbs, torn into small pieces (mostly basil, with a little purple basil, orange mint, summer savory and parsley).


1. For the roasted tomatoes: Heat oven to 275 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut tomatoes into slices about 3/4 inch thick, reserving ends for another use* (see suggestion below).  Lay slices on baking sheet, and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and sugar. Bake 15 minutes, and reduce heat to 200 degrees. Continue baking, turning halfway through, until tomatoes are shrunken and chewy but not crisp, 4 to 6 hours. (They may be started in the evening and finished the next morning. After partial baking, turn off oven, leaving door closed. In the morning, if tomatoes are not done, reheat oven and continue roasting.)

2. For assembly: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, chop roasted tomatoes very finely until they are almost a paste. Place in a large serving bowl, and add garlic, butter and olive oil. When pasta is cooked drain well, and add to the bowl while still hot. Toss well.


3. Stand ears of corn on end, and slice kernels from cobs. Add corn, cherry or grape tomatoes, mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano to pasta-tomato mixture. Toss well. Add herbs, and toss again. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Ok, so after I make a recipe, I always "tweak" it to my liking. Here are my thoughts on this particular delicious dish:


  • Use 3 lbs of tomatoes, since you don't use the ends of the tomatoes, you want a bit more to work with, in my opinion.
  • Omit the mint from the herb garnish. It was a bit overpowering, and the basil and parsley would be perfect.
  • Whenever slicing kernels off a cob of corn, put the ear in a bowl, and kernels will be contained. Your dog may not be happy, but less mess to clean up! I'm kind of a messy cook, so I know these things....
  • Realize that this dish is A) vegetarian, and B) a pasta salad, for the most part.
  • Serve with broiled bread brushed with olive oil, yum!
*my "other use" was a delicious tomato and mayo sandwich for lunch. 

In the famous, and now more-famous words of Julia, BON APPETIT!

Comments

  1. Hi, Laurie! Its naz, Sasch's sis~ Oh boy- i'm so excited to see what you write next! I LOVE food and I LOVE wine too! :-) I DEFINITELY need some tips on cooking too- and my husband will totally appreciate it! Your profile paragraph was SOOOOO funny too!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Laurie,

    Looking good! Best of luck with the blog- looking forward to your next post!!

    ReplyDelete

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