Stove-Top Slow-Roasted Tomato-Basil Sauce with Ricotta Cavatelli

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The days are longer and hotter. Dusk holds on to the last warm rays, squeezing out every drop of light until there is none left. These times are for simple suppers that are a pleasure to prepare with no oven involved. Just a few fresh ingredients and a chilled bottle of wine for a June Saturday evening.

A couple of pints of cherry tomatoes, freshly cut basil and shallots are the basics of this recipe for “Stove-Top Slow-Roasted Tomato-Basil Sauce with Fresh Ricotta Cavatelli”.

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I wandered into Lazzaroli’s Pasta & Italian Market last week seeking an idea for supper. I bought three types of pasta including this freshly made Ricotta Cavatelli.  This little rolled  pasta, which is like a dumpling,  has just the right shape to hold the sauce while on its way to your mouth.

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The two pints of cherry tomatoes were left over from a photo shoot the week before…various kinds all mixed together which I cut in half.

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Diced shallots slow-roasted over low heat in a splash of good olive oil until almost caramelized to which I added the tomatoes.

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After a half hour of pan roasting I added the fresh basil leaves, a pinch of salt & black pepper.

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 Tossed with the fresh Ricotta Cavatelli and Parmigiano Reggiano, a crusty loaf for sopping and a chilled Italian white made an ideal warm weather supper.

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“Buon Appetito Y’all”

Stove-Top Slow-Roasted Tomato-Basil Sauce with Ricotta Cavatelli

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 3 shallots, small dice
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 pints ripe cherry tomatoes, cut in half saving the juices
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water or broth
  • 8 ounces Cavatelli (or similar pasta)
  • freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a heavy pan. Add shallots & garlic. Leave on heat, stirring every now and then until shallots are almost softened.
  2. Add cherry tomato halves to pan and stir to coat with oil. Turn heat to low. Leave on heat for about 30 minutes, stirring often. The tomatoes will begin to “melt” creating a sauce. Add 1/4 cup water or broth and continue cooking stirring often while you cook the pasta.
  3. Bring a pan of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add Cavatelli and stir. Cook for about 8 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta in a colander.
  4. To the sauce add a handful of roughly chopped fresh basil leaves stirring to blend.Remove pan from heat.
  5. Add drained pasta to the pan of sauce.  Stir gently to coat the pasta with the sauce, adding some of the pasta water if need be to thin it out.
  6. Serve with a generous dusting of fresh Parmigiano.

Note: This was just one of the best and easy sauces I have ever made. The perfect pasta storm.

Recipe: Teresa Blackburn June 2015

“A Simple Sauce, Dave’s Tomatoes & an Ode by Pablo Neruda”

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My son-in-law, David,  has the magic touch when it comes to growing almost anything. He plants casually like a seasoned farmer. He does not fuss or worry, but accepts that things will grow, or not, depending on the weather. Tomatoes grow well for him in bad years, but this year, a good year, his plants are laden. He and my daughter, Whitney, are very generous with their bounty. See the big beauties above? Yep, those are David’s Cherokee Purple tomatoes.

 Vine ripened, just picked tomatoes. I am moved by their shapeliness, their innate lack of sameness and their color wheel of “reds, oranges & pinks”.

This is my favorite hot-summer, no-cook tomato sauce. It can only be made “right now” with just picked Summer tomatoes. Fresh, no fuss, quick and just plain good.

Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce

You only need a few ingredients….Fresh homegrown tomatoes, a few basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, smashed garlic cloves, a good fruity olive oil, salt & pepper, a splash of red wine vinegar and just grated Parmesan cheese to scatter over the top.

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If you live in Nashville stop by Lazzaroli’s on 5th Avenue North in Historic Germantown. Tom has an amazing selection of olive oils. I picked up this bottle of Madonna Olive Oil especially for this dish. It’s amazing.

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Cook up some pasta al dente.

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Toss the sauce with the pasta, scatter Parmesan over the top…stay cool, eat well.

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 “Ode to Tomatoes” by Pablo Neruda

 …..at the midpoint
of summer,
the tomato,
star of earth,
recurrent
and fertile
star,
displays
its convolutions,
its canals,
its remarkable amplitude
and abundance,
no pit,
no husk,
no leaves or thorns,
the tomato offers
its gift
of fiery color
and cool completeness.

 

No-Cook Fresh Summer Tomato Sauce for Pasta

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Print
Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce
Ingredients:
  • 2 Large or 4 smaller size vine-ripened Tomatoes, cored & chopped
  • a small handful of fresh Basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/3 cup good quality fruity olive oil
  • 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
  • Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

 

  1. Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped basil, pine nuts & garlic to a mixing bowl
  2. Pour in olive oil & vinegar and toss well.
  3. Season with salt & pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
  4. Chill until ready to serve covered.
  5. Serve with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan, a crusty loaf to sop the juices on your plate and your favorite summer wine.

Notes: Unlike a cooked sauce, this is just a mouthful of summer. I have been making this for years and only eat it in the middle of tomato season. Some dishes have to wait for the right season to enjoy, such is this one.

Any homegrown tomatoes will work great. I used some of my baby tomatoes in this dish to add texture.  Probably 2 lbs of tomatoes would be good for this recipe for two servings. Just increase to feed more.