What came in our CSA this week:
One dozen farm-fresh brown eggs
Palatine extra-sharp cheddar cheese
Creamline maple yogurt
After enjoying the fava beans with a little pecorino, olive oil and sea salt, I whipped up this easy, summery pasta dish with fresh basil from my fire escape, glowing tomatoes from the greenmarket, and - my favorite - a handful of crisp, summy squash blossoms. (Squash blossoms are also great in salads, quesadillas, or stuffed with cheese and tempura-fried.) Most of the tomatoes and garlic in this dish aren't cooked, so that zesty tomato tang and spicy raw garlic flavor shine through, along with the zing of basil added at the end. With fresh veggies and almost no oil, this pasta is a delicious, healthy summer treat.
4 garlic cloves
4-5 sun-ripened tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup komatsuna, chopped into ribbons
8-10 squash blossoms, bases removed and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb. dried capellini (angel-hair pasta)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Olive oil for drizzling (optional)
Finely mince garlic with a pinch of salt using a large, heavy knife.
Core 3 tomatoes and coarsely chop. Halve remaining tomatoes, then rub cut sides against a grater into a large bowl, discarding skin. Toss pulp with chopped tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, sugar, and pepper. Let stand, unrefrigerated, until ready to use, at least 10 minutes.
Warm a small skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and swirl in pan; add 1/2 cup tomato mixture. When mixture begins to sizzle, add komatsuna, squash blossoms, and a pinch of the fresh basil; saute until wilted but still brightly colored, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
While sauteing, boil pasta in a large pot of salted water, uncovered, until desired texture is reached (3-4 minutes). Drain in a colander and transfer to serving dish. Immediately add tomato mixture and kotsuma mixture. Sprinkle with rest of basil; toss to combine. Drizzle with oil if desired and serve hot.