Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pappardelle with Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes

After living in such agriculturally inhospitable environments as Chicago and Boston, my appreciation for California’s year-round growing season has been intensified. I don’t mean to brag, but we can get fresh arugula 12 months of the year, and I never have to hunt for thyme, oregano, sage, or mint anywhere but my own backyard. There are always Meyer lemons weighing down the branches of our tree, and rosemary conquering more than its share of space. I could go on, but you get my point.

Fortunately for those (few) dear readers who don’t get to enjoy this continuous bounty, summer is the season when we all get to enjoy luscious local produce. At the top of my list of favorites are heirloom tomatoes. Biting into one of the sun-warmed tomatoes we grow in our backyard is perfection. This recipe is my absolute favorite for highlighting summer’s best offering. I first made it last summer and have since been waiting for the opportunity to slot it back into my weekly rotation. You should too!

Pappardelle with Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes
adapted from "Martha Stewart Living," August 2011

4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, diced roughly
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh basil, torn
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound pappardelle (check to make sure there is no egg)

Heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and lower the temperature, browning the garlic slowly, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, lemon zest, red pepper, and basil. Pour the warm garlic and oil over the tomatoes and toss to combine. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pappardelle according to the package directions. Drain thoroughly and add to the tomato mixture. Toss to combine, and garnish with more basil if you like. Serve warm with a side of crusty sourdough to sop up all the tart and savory juices.