Here in Paula’s Test Kitchen, we’re celebrating the late August tomato; the big fat tomatoes with their skin still warm from the sun, and their flesh almost bittersweet from the coming fall and it’s certain chill.
Our daily diets are tomato heavy as we approach Labor Day- sharp cheddar cheese melted over thick slices of heirloom tomatoes, slow roasted cherry tomatoes tossed with some pasta and torn basil, cheesy tomato pies, a straightforward tomato sandwich with salt and mayonnaise, and a simple raw chopped tomato sauce with garlic and any happy herbs left in the garden. These are our favorite kinds of recipes- ones that come together without much work but promise of great flavor.
We hope ya’ll are enjoying and relishing the last few weeks of summertime and it’s bountiful season. Here’s one of our favorite ways to savor your last summer tomatoes.
The last of the late summer tomatoes: Simple & Fresh Tomato Sauce
2 pounds plum or heirloom tomatoes, cored and chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
¼ cup loosely packed basil, torn
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound angel hair pasta
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toss the tomatoes, olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, basil, chives, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Let sit out for at least 1 hour so the tomatoes get juicy.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Slip the pasta into the boiling water and cook until the time indicated on the back of the package. Drain the pasta and toss while still hot with the tomato mixture, sprinkle with the cheese, and toss again so everything is all mixed together. Serve warm or at room temperature.