From the SCCC Kitchen: Ripe summer tomatoes add flavor to pasta dish
“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s culinary arts program. Today, educational aide Lois Keefrider offers the first of three late summer recipes using fresh, seasonal vegetables. First up: a summer pasta.
It’s the attack of the killer tomatoes.
It’s late August, and big, red, ripe fruits with names like Jet Star, Big Boy and Early Girl are coming off vines every day. These great picks are packed with juicy tastes of summer that are just deadly terrific on sandwiches, hamburgers or simply teamed up with olive oil and slices of mozzarella cheese.
Lois Keefrider prefers to slice her red tomatoes and mix them with linguine, basil, garlic, mozzarella and olive oil.
“This is one of my all-time favorite summer dishes,” Keefrider said. “I can’t wait for the nice, fresh tomatoes to come out, because they’re the main ingredient.”
The tomatoes go into A bowl along with the shredded mozzarella, basil, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. The ingredients marinate for about four hours. “You let it marinate and as the flavors meld, the kitchen smells wonderful because of the basil and garlic,” Keefrider said.
After about four hours, the linguine goes on the stove.
“You add the warm pasta to the tomato mixture, and you can serve it as is, so it’s a little bit warm,” Keefrider said. “It can be served at room temperature. Sometimes what I’ll do is pop it in the oven and let it warm up just a little bit so the cheese melts a little bit more.”
Angel hair pasta can also be used.
Keefrider said this time of year is prime time for the prime pasta dish.
“The rest of the year, tomatoes really are pretty tasteless,” she said. “That’s why I can’t wait for the tomatoes to come out, so I can make this in the summertime. It’s a great accompaniment to grilled chicken or grilled pork tenderloin, or it could be your main course, too. It’s a nice vegetarian option.”
Prepare at least 4 hours in advance:
4 large ripe tomatoes, diced into 1⁄2-inch pieces
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup cleaned, fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3⁄4 cup olive oil
1 1⁄4 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound linguine
Place all ingredients except the linguine and cheese in a large bowl and set on the counter, stirring every hour. When ready to serve, cook the linguine according to package directions and drain. Stir warm pasta into tomato mixture and serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese.