These past few weeks, with DC temperatures lingering at a feels likes of 102, my definitive answer to every kind spirited ‘how are you?’ met with (albeit smiling) retorts of HOT, Andrew and I have let our oven, and really most of our kitchen, go dark. Keeping our meal’s ingredients and preparation simple, simple, we’ve instead refocused on raw, seasonal and primarily local ingredients, like sweet yellow corn and heirloom tomatoes procured from our Sunday farmers market. Bulking up those finds with favorites like quinoa or whole grain pastas, raw nuts, and crusty breads for more nutritionally complete meals, these stunning ingredients, now at their nutritional and flavor peaks, require minimal effort on their journeys to becoming something wonderful. Leaving us with the opportunity to just chill and enjoy.
Usually taking our dinners up to our rooftop, where the air is breezy and the sunsets are life changing, last night Andrew and I hosted a summer inspired picnic potluck with a few dear friends. Bringing the main course to the table while remaining conscious of weeknight time and summer temperature constraints, I prepared a new summer favorite, an angel hair pasta dish with a bright tomato pesto, the plumpest orange and yellow cherry tomatoes (only about half of which actually made it into the pasta – they were practically like popping candies!), fresh basil, and raw kernels of sweet yellow corn. The tomato pesto, this divinely fatty, yet light and bright whiz of vine ripened tomatoes with omega rich walnuts, good olive oil, basil, and garlic, could easily be used as a spread on or dip for crusty baguette, it was that divine. We served our pasta chilled, with even chillier glasses of lemonade and thick slices of crusty baguette.
Angel Hair with Tomato Pesto [serves 6]
note: for those of us who like to err on the side of well prepared, the tomato pesto can be made a day or two in advance, then kept in an airtight tupperware until you’re ready to serve your pasta.
1 pound uncooked angel hair pasta
4 vine-ripened tomatoes (about 1 ½ pounds)
½ cup raw walnuts
¼ cup basil leaves, stems removed + extra for garnish
1 clove garlic
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes (about ½ pound), halved
kernels from 3 ears sweet yellow corn
Bring ¾ of a large pot of water to a boil. Add the angel hair and cook until al dente, following the instructions on the package. Drain, then rinse with very cold water to let cool. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in bring ¾ of a medium pot of water to a boil. Drop the tomatoes in for 90-120 seconds, or until the skins begin to split, then transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Once cool, peel the skins and half the tomatoes. Using a spoon or your fingers, remove the tomato’s seeds.
In a food processor fitted with an S-blade, pulse the now peeled and deseeded tomatoes, walnuts, basil, garlic, and olive until very smooth. Season to taste, then set aside.
In a large serving bowl, gently toss angel hair with tomato pesto. Top with cherry tomatoes, corn kernels, and additional basil. Serve at room temperature or cold, enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per serving]
500 Calories, 22g Fat, 70g Carbohydrates, 6g Fiber, 7.5g Sugar, 13g Protein