Summer Garden Pasta

Right at this very moment my garden is exploding with tomatoes.  I only asked one thing of my garden this year and that was to WAIT until I was completely finished with my daughters wedding before it peaked.  

I just need one more week.  I have peppers of every kind just waiting to be added to some spicy salsa.  I have onions, tomatillos, crenshaw melon, zucchini, tomatoes and more tomatoes.  I'm loving it, but I can't start making salsa and and bottling tomatoes until after September 9th.  

My only option is to eat as much as I can within the next 10 days or so.  I love pasta and fresh tomatoes.
Thank goodness Ina Garten had just the recipe I was looking for.  It's so fast to prepare and tastes bright and fresh without over cooking the tomatoes. 

I decided that I wanted a more colorful palate of tomatoes in my pasta.  
All of the tomatoes in my garden are red with the exception of a few golden pear cherry tomatoes.

Off to the farmers market I went.  I can honestly say that I get more excited at a Farmers Market than I do in a shoe store.  I would take shopping at an open air farmers market and Williams-Sonoma any day over Jcrew...really!

I decided to use a variety of heirloom tomatoes for a colorful pop.

I wish I new exactly what variety I purchased.  I will refer to them as golden yellow, purple, green and the gold old red Roma's from my garden.

What a find.  I was dancing to the car.  I called the husband that rarely reads this blog and informed him that I wanted to shop at a Framers Market everyday of my life.  I just wish he could share in the my excitement when I told him that we were eating "meatless" for few days and I had filled my bag with wonderful fruits and vegetables.  Oh joy!

You can prep this pasta dish in less than 15 minutes.  I swear.

You will need a variety of tomatoes.  Ina's recipe called for 4 pints of cherry tomatoes.  I think she would be proud of my selection.   You will need about 4 garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, fresh ground pepper,  18 basil leaves or so, 1/2 cup good extra-virgin olive oil and 1 lb of capellini pasta.  Whoops!  I forgot to picture the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. You will need 1 1/2 cups.

Begin by slicing the tomatoes.  These green gems are a little large so I'm going to quarter them.

I love the purple and gold colors.  

I decided to dice the Roma tomatoes.  Slice the tomato length wise.

Cut into strips.

Cut the strips into a dice.

I actually have about 7 different varieties.

Combine all of the tomatoes in a large pasta bowl.

Crush the 4 garlic cloves.

I just give them a good whack with my fist.  Blade down of course.

Chop the garlic.

Add garlic to the tomatoes.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.

Yes.  This will add some heat to the pasta. Adjust to your liking.  You know my liking.

Add one teaspoon of Kosher salt.

About 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper.  

My basil is exploding as well.  That means I can add as much as I want.  I'll probably add a bit more than 18 leaves.  

Place the basil leaves on top of each other and roll them together.

Slice the basil into a chiffonade.

Add to the tomato mixture.

Drizzle with 1/2 cup of fabulously flavored extra-virgin olive oil.

Gently stir.  How colorful is this?

Cover the bowl and let this mixture sit and marinate for at least 4 hours.  

When ready to serve, bring a pot of water to a boil and add a good dose of salt.  Remember salt will add flavor to that dried pasta that you are going to add.

Drop in the 1 lb. of Capellinni.

The pasta should only take about 5 minutes to cook.

Look at all the juices that have accumulated while the tomatoes marinated.  Those juices are flavor!

Add the hot pasta to the tomato mixture.

Gently stir int the pasta.

Add 1 1/2 cups of Parmigiano Reggiano.

Gently toss.

Top with a few slices of basil, if desired.  

Fast.  Fabulous.  Fresh.
Nothing left to say.

Summer Garden Pasta

4 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
Good olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
18 large basil leaves, julienned, plus extra for serving
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried angel hair pasta
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Combine the cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for about 4 hours.
Just before you're ready to serve, bring a large pot of water with a splash of olive oil and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente according to the directions on the package (be careful - it only takes 2 to 3 minutes!). Drain the pasta well and add to the bowl with the cherry tomatoes. Add the cheese and some extra fresh basil leaves and toss well. Serve in big bowls with extra cheese on each serving.  2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home


  1. I made this last night! So easy and very tasty. I made another batch of the tomatoes this morning as I have so much of a bounty crop. Had it this morning on top of a slice of toasted no knead crusty bread. Wow!!! I've just got to let you know I've been making a fresh batch of that bread every Sunday since I found your blog a few months ago. Changed my life, everyone looks forward to it. Keep the reciepes coming. Love this blog.
    Saundra, New York

  2. Thank you for your comment and FABULOUS suggestion. Looks like I'm putting tomatoes on toast now. My grandmother used to simmer tomatoes in butter, tons of butter, then pour it over her homemade bread toasted. One of my favorite breakfast. I'll will definitely try your suggestion. I better get some bread rising.

  3. Hi Janet,

    and again you meet exactly my taste. I love spaghetti. I will also cook this recipe with enthusiasm!
    Greetings from Germany


    1. Hi Hermann, I hope I never let you down. Once again I thank you for such kind remarks.

  4. Just received six thumbs up from the family: one a staunch tomato hater! I used lemon olive oil, which I bought for one of your other superb recipes. I found you three months ago and my family has been eating better since! Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment. I'm thrilled to receive a "six thumbs up". Wow, I rarely get that from my family.