Cherry Tomatoes and Pasta

This recipe takes advantage of the abundance of cherry tomatoes and is not cooked. The sauce can be made while waiting for the pasta water to boil, so that the dish is ready in about 15 minutes. Use as a side dish or as a main meal. I enjoy it cold or hot.

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add:

  • Dash salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ? pound thin spaghetti or vermicelli pasta

Cook just until al dente, according to package directions. (Thin spaghetti and vermicelli cook in about half the time of regular pasta.)

Combine in a food processor bowl:

  • 2 cups red or yellow cherry tomatoes or diced Roma tomatoes*
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 10-12 large basil leaves, torn into one inch pieces
  • 1 small bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces (use red, yellow or green peppers)
  • ? cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Process until coarsely chopped. It should not be made into a paste, just slightly chunky. Add:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Process until mixed in. Pour sauce into the serving bowl and top sauce with:

  • ? cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Drain pasta and pour hot pasta over cheese and sauce mixture. Stir well and serve. Add cooked shrimp or top with toasted pine nuts or additional shredded parmesan cheese.

*If using large tomatoes, cut them in half, squeeze out some of the juice and seeds and dice into large pieces before putting them in the processor bowl.

Makes 4 servings.

Article Type: Tip