From spring straight into summer. It’s hot in New England now and the produce tells the tale. At the local farmer’s market today I got some raspberries, blueberries, and cherry tomatoes: the very emblems of summer.

I guess I’m on a pasta kick because I decided make a fresh tomato pasta dish with the tomatoes I bought. I stopped by Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Somerville for some black pepper pappardelle, which was a good thing because when I got home I realized that I was out of black pepper! While I was there I picked up a $20 bottle of olive oil. Yes that’s right. I don’t know anything about olive oil, but I guess you do get what you pay for because this just doesn’t compare to the stuff I usually buy at the supermarket. The taste is much more subtle; I’ll use it in dishes where the oil isn’t cooked, like the one below.

You can use any kind of pasta you wish in this super easy recipe, and the ingredients can be adapted in a million different ways; this is a great way to use heirloom tomatoes if you have them. The inspiration came from “A Raw Deal,” an article by Adam Reid in the Boston Globe Magazine from August of last year.

Pasta with fresh tomatoes, goat cheese, lemon, and basil

1 tbsp. (or so) lemon juice
1/2 tsp. (or so) lemon zest
1/3 c. olive oil (if you have a special bottle of expensive olive oil use it now. If not you should consider buying one)
4 oz. goat cheese (broken into pieces)
1 or 2 garlic cloves
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
1 lb. pasta
1 qt. cherry tomatoes (you may also use regular tomatoes; cored, seeded and roughly chopped)
fresh basil

Boil pasta until al dente. Drain. While pasta boils combine lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt, pepper, and goat cheese in a bowl. Crush the garlic clove and mash it with some salt until the salt has combined with the garlic and there are no more large chunks of garlic; you can do this right on your cutting board. Add the garlic to the oil mixture. Place tomatoes in a serving bowl. Once you’ve drained the pasta, pour the hot pasta over the tomatoes and add the oil and goat cheese mixture. Top with fresh basil cut in a chiffonade. Toss to combine (salad tongs work well here) and garnish with fresh basil.

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