Pasta with No-Cook Summer Tomato Sauce
August 5, 2010
Aunt Suzy says
My favorite new discovery is food writer Francis Lam on Salon.com. Not all his spots include recipes, but all are interesting. The minute I saw his column last Friday I knew I had to bunny-hop down to the farmer’s market on Saturday to get ingredients. All I needed was arugula, tomatoes and shallots. I was thinking that it might be too late in the season for arugula, but the great growers of Burning River Farm came through. I was shocked to see home grown shallots (from another vendor); I was fully prepared to have to buy them from a store. I was able to get all three fresh ingredients required for this simple, elegant and beautiful dish. Randy and I ate the entire recipe, which I think was supposed to serve four! It paired beautifully with a rich Spanish rose wine. A note about the pasta – I thought from experience that we should be using small pasta shapes of some sort like fusilli or penne, but I’m glad I followed the recipe and used linguine. It was perfect and fun to eat. On another note, I heartily recommend reading the original column – link above – it was fun to read and made my mouth water! (August 2011 addendum – Francis is no longer at Salon, but is now at another food site Gilt Taste, where he posted an article about this recipe.)
Making dinner while entertaining a 19 month old is quite a challenge, so I’m always looking for fast and easy…but I don’t want to compromise on flavor!! This is another winner for me because it took no time at all to make, and it was delicious. I agree with Suzy that I was going against what I know about pasta by using spaghetti instead of pasta pieces for this dish, but in the end I was glad I followed the recipe!
2 1/2 pounds ripe summer tomatoes (a variety is nice, but good old red farm-stand or garden tomatoes will be just fine)
2-3 handfuls of baby arugula (we added about 3 cups)
thinly sliced shallot or shaved onion
3/4-1 pound spaghetti or linguine, depending on what pasta to veggies ratio you want (we used 3/4 lb linguine)
1 cup grated Parmegiano (the recipe said optional, but I don’t think so :-))
olive oil, salt and pepper
Seed and chop the tomatoes into chunks. Place in a large bowl – large enough to hold everything including the cooked pasta and with enough room to toss vigorously. Sprinkle with some olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste. Place the arugula on top and then the sliced shallots or shaved onion. (the shallots were fab!)
In the meantime, the spaghetti or linguine should be cooking away – or at least the water should be at the boiling point when you’ve finished setting up your bowl of vegetables. Cook the pasta in salted water till al dente according to package directions. When finished cooking, drain and then dump the drained pasta on top of the vegetables. Press down a little and dowse with olive oil. Let sit 3 minutes for the arugula to wilt and the shallots or onions to soften up a bit. After the 3 minute timer goes off, toss a little to blend and then add the Parmegiano and toss away to thoroughly blend the cheese in and distribute the ingredients throughout the dish. The recipe said to add some red wine vinegar if you want, but we thought it was perfect without.