Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Season for Everything

Hello! Hope you all are enjoying these blissful (dog) days of summer. The weeks have flown by and we have returned home to California after a clustercuss of events that made life somewhat unbearable, even as we summered on the Cape. I was, unfortunately, crippled by a certain gastric distress that rendered me unable to eat most things for weeks, I discovered that I have a shellfish allergy (so far only to lobster and mussels), my two-year-old laptop crashed and burned, and to top it off, we left our wonderful SLR camera on a taxi in New York.

Under these conditions it is very difficult to blog...so I thank you for your patience. As of this week, I have resumed normal digestion of my food (you have no idea), unpacked all our boxes of clothes shipped home, attended to our garden, and resurrected my old (but still mostly functional camera)..

We've also adopted a stray kitten (whom we've named Bandit...but that's a story for another time).

So thankfully, I'm back in business--as long as my husband doesn't mind me using his desktop once in a while.

About dinner...How are your tomatoes doing? Mine are so-so and admittedly the Early Girls and Better Boys are outperforming my heirlooms about 10-1. But the farmers' market was bursting with incredible variety, and we've been eating them up until our mouths blister.

I firmly believe that summer meals should be simple and require as little cooking as possible, so as to not heat up an already hot kitchen. Tonight's meal, angel hair alla checca, fit that bill perfectly as I only needed to boil a pot of water and cook the pasta for 3 minutes and dinner was served. The sauce, if you want to call it that, is simply chopped tomatoes, marinated in a bit of garlic, olive oil, basil and balsamic vinegar. It's summer served on a platter.

This pasta is a perfect showcase for the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes available right now. As a bonus, this meal is equally good warm, at room temperature or cold. (And the chopped tomato mixture makes a killer bruschetta too.)

Angel Hair alla Checca
Printable recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: serves 3-4


2 cups chopped mixed tomatoes (heirloom is nice), cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, grated
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 ball of fresh mozzarella, cut into 1 inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound angel hair pasta


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

2. Meanwhile, mix all ingredients, except the pasta in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature so the flavors will meld.

3. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Toss the pasta with the tomatoes in the bowl. Serve immediately, garnishing with additional basil leaves if desired.


Unknown said...

Sorry to hear about all your troubles :/

Our tomato's really aren't doing at all this year :( Too much rain got them early on.

Alison said...

Hi Allison! Nice to hear from you. I don't know what the issue is with my tomatoes--I think the summer weather has been too erratic....some cool days, some too hot. Oh well, Im thankful we have the farmers' market. :-)

Anonymous said...

Maybe Bandit will prevent further rodent incidents....

This pasta looks incredible. I'll give it a try if I can find some decent tommytoes. Sent the recipe on to my folks, too.


Alison said...


I already asked Matt if we could throw him in the attic and was informed that the rat is so large he would eat the cat. lol! He's pretty street smart, though...I think he could take it. ;-)

Half Baked said...

So sorry about all your troubles. that pasta however look fantastic!