Saturday, July 14, 2007

Savoring Summer -- Tomatoes, Basil and Pasta

July 14

At this time of year it's almost a sin not to use up the bounty of tomatoes in something fresh and delicious. This is one of my favorite ways to do that -- taken from the American Women's Club of Geneva Cookbook, published in 1983, submitted by the Country Living Committee Chairwoman Peggy Cleveland:

Summer Pasta

1/2 cup olive oil (I sometimes use a bit less)
1 teaspoon salt
6 twists of a pepper mill (Here I think Peggy was being a bit persnickety)
3 or 4 cloves garlic, crushed (I use the garlic press this time)
4 large tomatoes, chopped (Peggy says: "thinly sliced lengthwise, then in half to conserve juice." I never could figure out what she was talking about.)
1 large green pepper, sliced in thin strips, then halved
25 leaves fresh basil, torn in quarters (Me again: julienne or chop as much as you like!)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 cups pasta

At least 1 1/2 hours before serving, combine all ingredients except cheese and pasta in a large serving bowl. Let stand at room temperature, turning ingredients gently once or twice. Add pasta, warm, to the tomatoes, then the cheese, just before serving. This actually is best slightly warm, but can be served at room temperature.

It will keep a day or two in the refrigerator, but I do not eat it cold. If I've saved any, I nuke it a few seconds just to take the chill off.

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