Saturday, July 19, 2008

Grand at the game

I am so thankful that tomatoes are cleared from the salmonella scare because fresh tomatoes and pasta is one of my favorite easy summer dinners. I'm lucky enough to be in California where our state grown tomatoes were never in danger, but most of the supermarket varieties came from Mexico. This meant trying to hit up more farmer's markets when I had the time, but since I've been out of town two weekends this month, we've been short on tomatoes in Thathouse.

As much as I don't miss my 90 minute commute, one of the things I do miss is the smell of tomatoes on the way down. There's a stretch where you can just smell acres and acres of the tomato plants and it's heavenly. I don't get to smell that anymore. I have been advised by my compatriots last weekend that I could grow some tomato plants in pots, and I'm thinking of trying it out, but my black thumbs lead me to believe it's easier said than done.

Instead I'll thank the heavens that my stores are back to being well stocked with red juicy tomatoes to use in my easy summer dinner. Usually the heat of the pasta is enough in the summer, and I really like something light in terms of sauce. Fresh tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and garlic are the same ingredients I would use in creating a hot pasta sauce, but in the summer I just toss it together and don't cook it. It has all the same great flavors, but is refreshing when the warm breezes come through.

Pasta with Tomatoes and Basil
  • whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 breast chicken, cooked, sliced
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • crumbled feta
  1. Cook pasta.
  2. While pasta is cooking, combine chopped tomatoes, diced tomatoes, chicken, basil , olive oil, and garlic.
  3. Drain pasta and add to other ingredients, toss.
  4. Top with feta.


  1. variations of this combo are my favorite for summer!

  2. This looks like an awesome summer dish. I admittedly did not stop eating tomatoes (oops) but fortunately no mishaps.

  3. We make this all the time too... sometimes I add artichokes as well. Perfect summer food and it's going to be dinner tonight. Even have feta in the fridge - thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Oooh yum, I am on such a feta kick. This is getting added to the list.

  5. that look delish! i've been scouring my cookbooks for no-cook recipes since our house just sucks up the heat and the thought of actually turning on an oven makes me want to cry.

  6. Hey, I was eating tomatoes the whole time...along with jalapenos...oh well! I'm still alive!

    You've been tagged! Check out my blog for more details!

  7. Yum. I could eat pasta every night!

  8. I've been thinking of doing tomato plants too, since we just moved to California, but we're in a rental. And we just finished moving, so it seems like more work than I'm willing to take on right now. All the same, I love tomato season.

  9. hm. i don't know if i'd recognize the smell of tomato!

  10. It almost looks too easy. That means I might mess it up.

  11. That looks delish and easy enough for someone idiotic in the kitchen like me to make. I'll have to try it out!

  12. Can't go wrong with fresh tomatoes and pasta!