Summer Garden Pasta

I don’t really have a summer garden, but if I did, I’d hope it would be brimming with cherry tomatoes for me to use in simple, fresh dishes like this one! My grandparents grew a ton of vegetables in their garden when I was growing up, and I so wish I’d appreciated how awesome that was at the time.

Eventually I’ll get brave and sacrifice some of our lawn for raised beds but to this point I’ve been content with potted herbs on my deck. I did branch out a little this year and try to grow jalapeños, which is actually going surprisingly well. My one little plant is going to produce more peppers than I’ll know what to do with. I’m also now growing attempting to grow tomatoes, thanks to Shane’s parents, who dropped off tomato plants, pots, and cages for me. How could I resist an offer like that? The plants have gotten huge, and have tons of flowers, but so far no tomatoes. It’s pretty much the highlight of my day to run outside and check the plants each morning for signs of that first tomato :)

Summer Garden Pasta

If you’re already overwhelmed with cherry tomatoes from your garden, this pasta is for you. It really couldn’t be any easier to put together and I love that it’s all about letting the summer tomatoes shine! There’s hardly any cooking involved, which is also a nice bonus. The tomatoes are marinated for 4 hours in a combination of olive oil, garlic, basil and crushed red pepper flakes to create the sauce then tossed with hot angel hair pasta and grated Parmesan cheese. It was super flavorful, the perfect summer lunch.

I bet mine would have been even better (and more visually appealing) had I followed the directions and halved the tomatoes. Oops! You could add a protein too (I think shrimp would be great) to make it a little more substantial for dinner. The dish would probably be equally as good with grape tomatoes or even chopped full-size tomatoes if that’s what you have – something tells me you can’t go wrong here.

Summer Garden Pasta
from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

4 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
18 large basil leaves, julienned
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb angel hair pasta
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 4 hours.

To finish the dish: Cook the pasta according to the pasta directions in a large pot of boiled salted water. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the bowl with the cherry tomato mixture. Gradually add the cheese, tossing to combine. If necessary, you can add a little of the pasta cooking water to adjust the consistency. Garnish each bowl of pasta with some fresh basil and a little more cheese.