This is one of my most favorite dishes ever and I have no idea why I haven't posted it before now??? It is fast, fresh tasting and simple!
Pasta With Fresh Tomato and Basil
1 head of garlic and 2 Tbsp olive oil
3 ripe plum tomatoes (I just use whatever is tasting good right them)
1/3 C fresh basil (chopped)
1 Tbsp capers
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 box of long thin pasta (angel hair, linguine, spaghetti)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Peel of most of the paper from around the garlic head. Slice off the pointy top of the garlic. This should expose all of the cloves a bit. Place in an oven proof pan (I use a pie plate). Top with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and coarse salt. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. Allow to cool then remove the cloves and mash with a fork.
- Dice the tomatoes (if the have a ton of seeds squeeze them out).
- Add the garlic, basil, capers, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Let stand for at least 20 minutes.
- Cook pasta.
- Mix sauce with pasta and serve warm or at room temperature. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I also decided that we were going to have the squash blossoms because I know (I think) they have to be used right away. I found some great recipes for stuffing them but I really wanted to keep this meal simple and fresh tasting so I opted to batter them and fry them. Yeah, I guess that isn't that light is it? Any way they turned out to be incredible tasting. They even still tasted like squash!!! I found the recipe in my absolute favorite cookbook by How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food (How to Cook Everything) by Mark Bittman. This book has proven to be my best resource for all of the fresh produce I am bringing home. If you were to have one cookbook and one cookbook only this is the one I would tell you to buy!
Anyway I found a beer batter recipe (Batter, European Style) and this worked perfect for the nice delicate flowers!
Deep Fried Squash Blossoms (recipe by Mark Bittman-How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)
Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy bottomed pot to at least 350 degrees.
1 Cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 Cup for dredging
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 Cup beer or sparkling water (I stole T.'s beer for this one)
Coarse salt for finishing
- While the oil is heating mix the batter ingredients until just combined. This batter should be the consistency of pancake batter.
- Dredge each blossom lightly in the plain flour and then dip into the batter and place gently in the oil. Do not crowd the blossoms in the oil, you may have to cook in batches. Cook turning once until a nice golden brown.
- Drain on a rack or paper towels and serve immediately