When I think pasta sauce, I also think seasonal. Even a tomato sauce can be reinterpreted for late summer recipes, when the days are still sizzlin’ and we crave refreshing over rich. I take advantage of peak tomato season each September in various ways, including indulging in the delights of fresh tomato “sauce” over elegant pastas like penne. The high acid, sweetness and juicy wholeness of ripe cherry tomatoes can really show off as a sauce, and need not be broken down any further than being sliced in half and briefly sautéed. Some fresh green beans, garlic, oil and fresh basil build the flavor intensity, providing for you and your family a dimensional, healthful, impromptu meal that’s budget-friendly and made from Fresh Market Cuisine. Here’s the simple recipe.
Late Summer Pasta with Tomato “Sauce”
1 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, mixed colors, halved
8 oz Fresh green beans, cut to bite-size
5-6 basil leaves, chiffonade (or, 1-2 Tbsp pesto)
3 cups whole wheat penne, cooked al dente
1 oz fresh mozzarella, finely diced
Parmesan cheese, grated
Microwave green beans for 1.5 minutes, until tender. Heat the olive oil and the garlic in a sauté pan. Turn the heat to high and add the cherry tomatoes and green beans. Sautee. As the tomatoes cook, add some water (I add a ¼ cup Low-Sodium V8). Once the tomato skins are collapsed, add the basil and the pasta. When hot, sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir in mozzarella. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve. My favorite wine pairing: 2012 Kosovec Skrlet, a light-bodied Croatian white that will nicely accent the refreshing nature of the dish.