cherry tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes are finally here and in abundance. Be careful of storing your summer bounty. When you refrigerate a tomato you damage the internal membrane and create the ubiquitous mealy texture that we connect with bad or off-season tomatoes. The best place to store tomatoes is in the open air, they continue to develop their flavor until maturation peaks a few days after harvest.

I wanted to try out this recipe from Food52 that was originally a Martha Stewart creation. Claiming to create a sauce as it cooked the ingredients in one pot by simply using the appropriate proportions appealed to me, as well as being able to feature the beautiful sungold and cherry tomatoes coming from our local farms.

Here is the recipe

12 ounces linguine
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1/2 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, I used more than recommended for extra spice
2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 cups water
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet (the linguine should lay flat). Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs or a fork, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with olive oil and Parmesan.

I sautéed crimini mushrooms and a little onion in a sauté pan, and added them at the end for a little more substance. This negates the dish being truly a one pot pasta, but I was worried the mushroom flavor would overwhelm the rest of the dish. I made this for my friends with a delicious light salad and everyone was happy and full as we dined alfresco in the Summer air. This became an instant classic, and something I am bound to cook for the rest of my life.

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