Pasta Pomodoro

You probably noticed that I'm still picking tomatoes and basil from my garden.  Pasta Pomodoro is probably one of my favorite meals to prepare with fresh tomatoes.  It quick and easy.  Colorful and very flavorful.

Tiffany bought some very interesting pasta in Italy.  She bought it specifically for me to blog about. So thoughtful, thanks Tiff.  

This is a very simple recipe with just a few ingredients.  We want to highlight the flavor of the home grown tomatoes.  They are the star of the show.  You will need nice ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, fresh mozzarella and your favorite pasta.

Check out this hand painted bowl that Tiffany bought in Italy as well.  She thought I might like to use this bowl for the blog, too.  Perfect.  It's gorgeous.

Wash about 5 large tomatoes.

Love this little gadget.  It's a tool to core tomatoes.  Works great. 

Core the tomatoes.

See how nifty.

That was easy.

Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise.

Cut into quarters.

 Cut into eighths.

This is my method for peeling tomatoes.  I personally like to remove the peel from the tomatoes.  The peel can be a little tough to chew on , so I like to remove it.

Your knife needs to be very sharp.  Hold the tomato firmly against the cutting surface.  Now run the knife in between the flesh and the skin.  Put pressure in the knife against the cutting surface as you move the knife along the flesh to remove the skin.

If you don't have a sharp enough knife, you can use the boiling water method.  Just drop the whole tomato into boiling water for a minute then remove and drop into ice water.  The skins should rub right off. 

I find that by the time the water starts to boil that I can have the tomatoes skinned using this method.  I'm pretty fast at it so it only takes me a few minutes to skin all the tomatoes.  Practice makes perfect.  You'll eventually get the hang of it.

Sometimes I don't get all of the skin removed, but that's ok.  A little skin isn't going to hurt.  If you like to leave the skin on, go right a head and skip this step.

I like to chop the tomatoes quiet small.  You can leave your tomatoes in larger chunks if you want.  I don't care.  It's your Pomodoro sauce.  Make it the way you like it.

You should end up with about 5-6 cups of chopped tomatoes. 

Take 2 cloves of garlic.  You can use more garlic if you want or less if you want.  You choose.

Take a knife and give the garlic a good whack.

Basically you just need to smash it.

Finely chop the garlic.

Remove the basil leaves from the stems.  I like to leave the little leaves whole then I just gently tear the larger leaves.

You will need to have a pot of boiling water for your pasta.

Salt the water very well.  This will give your pasta some flavor.

Drop the pasta into the salted boiling water.  Wow this is a tricolor pasta.  Should be pretty.  I have no idea how this is going to cook up.

Place a large skillet or saute pan on medium heat.  Drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Pour the chopped tomatoes into the warm olive oil.

Add the chopped garlic.

Sprinkle with salt.  Oh about a teaspoon should do it.  Taste it to see if it's enough.  You may want to add more.

Add several grinds of fresh pepper.

Heat until the tomatoes just barely start to simmer.  You don't want to overcook the tomatoes.  You just want to heat them. 

Turn down the heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter.  This, of course, is optional.  I love the flavor it gives the tomatoes and the butter thickens up the juices a bit.

Toss is the basil leaves.

Stir until the butter melts.

Add the drained, cook pasta.

O my, Tiffany,  this pasta slightly resembles earthworms now that it's cooked.  I really like the flavor, however, it's very hearty. 

Let the pasta simmer gently to absorb the flavor of the tomatoes.  Not too long.  You don't want to overcook your pasta or cook the tomatoes too much.

Pour into a serving bowl or you can just divide into individual serving bowls.  I like to use bowls for this pasta dish because the sauce is quite brothy.  Just the way I like it. 

Slice some fresh mozzarella to arrange on top of the pasta.  This is optional, of course.  I just love to slice off a bit of the mozzarella with each bite.  You can sprinkle with some good Parmesan cheese as well.

I like to serve this with a large spoon and a fork.  You don't want to miss a drop.

This is my favorite "pre-race" carb loading meal the day before a marathon.  It's gentle on the stomach.  So Important.  AND it can be prepared in 15 minutes or less.  Depending on the type of pasta you are using and how long it takes to cook.

I can even get the husband who never reads this blog to eat it. 

Pasta Pomodoro

1 lb. Angel hair, Penne or other favorite pasta
5 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons butter
Fresh mozzarella

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Place a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil to the pan then tomatoes that have been peels and chopped. Add garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Barely bring to a simmer. Add the fresh basil leaves and butter. Stir until the butter is melted. Add the drained cooked pasta and heat for a few minutes to allow the pasta to absorb some of the juices and flavor of the tomatoes.

Remove from heat and divide into 4 serving bowls. Arrange slices of the fresh mozzarella and more basil leaves. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings

I must admit I am thoroughly enjoying the tomatoe harvest.  Nothing quite compares to a tomato picked fresh from your garden...

...Oh wait there is something that compares or even surpasses...PEACHES!!!!  

Stay tuned.

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