Today is an unsettled day. It is hot, humid, stormy. More storms are predicted for dinner time. What to do? I’m running out of enthusiasm for big dinners. There is no time to grill without a storm. And…I have lots and lots of tomatoes of all sizes, shapes, and colors.
Pasta is always a quick dinner and always a winner with children. This recipe is one I used often in the summer when my children were younger. We’d come home from swimming and, while they were showering and changing, I would put this together. Along with a big salad this is s a great and filling summer meal. Watermelon or ice cream for dessert. I will date myself here by telling you that summer dessert, when I was a child, was a slice of watermelon. We sat on the bottom step of the back porch and spit the seeds into the grass. Yes, watermelons had seeds way back then!
There are many, many farmers at the market selling many varieties of tomatoes. The tomatoes I’ve used are from Our Yards Farm….but Springdale Farms sells them (try their tomato berries!), and A. T. Buzby Farm and Viereck Farm. And the variety is colorful and delicious.
a pint (or more) of cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup panko or bread crumbs
1. Put pasta water on the stove to boil (This takes the most time!). Hint: put a wooden spoon over the pot of boiling water with pasta in it. It keeps the water from boiling over. It really does!
2. Melt butter in a small frying pan. Pour in the panko/bread crumbs and stir until starting to brown. The butter will be absorbed into the crumbs. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Pour olive oil into a large pan and turn on medium heat.
4. Cut all cherry tomatoes into halves or quarters. I prefer quarters. Pour the tomatoes into the olive oil. (Some people will tell you that you don’t have to cook the tomatoes and oil. I do. I like the tomatoes to be soft. I like the olive oil to marry the tomatoes. I like the sauce hot. But, if you’d like not to, you do not have to cook the tomatoes and olive oil. Let them marry at room temperature)
5. Let the tomatoes cook until they get what my grandson calls “squishy”. About 10 minutes or until the pasta is done.
6. When the pasta is cooked to your liking (husband like al dente, grandson like mushy), drain it, and dump it into the sauce.
7. Stir the sauce and pasta (really delicious with angel hair pasta or ravioli) until well combined.
8. Pour the pasta and sauce into your favorite bowl, top with butter toasted breadcrumbs. Serve.
No garlic. (I add basil for the adult dish….lots of farmers have bunches of basil for sale. Our Yards Farm sells a bouquet of mixed herbs which will get you through a cooking week nicely.)
No cheese! Vegan! And, if you use gluten free pasta or zucchini pasta…gluten free too.
This is a super simple way to use up a surplus of tomatoes and a delicious way to get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Children and adults love this recipe.