In just one more day, we can dance under the light of the moon and celebrate the solstice, and the official start of summer.
It has actually felt like summer the last couple of days-I didn't even put a sweatshirt on last night to stay warm! Maybe we can even have our first outing to the pool this weekend.
And in honor of summer days, I present to you one of our favorite summer meals-Ina Garten's Sun Dried Tomato Pasta. (she is one of my favorite cooks, if you don't have one of her cookbooks, get one! Or you may borrow one of mine...)
1 box pasta (a pound is too much, if you have a full box just cook about 2/3 of it, or buy 1 of the boxes that are the same size as the old 1 lb. box, but actually only have about 13 oz. inside)
salt and olive oil
a pound of ripe tomatoes, med dice (I sometimes use grape tomatoes, which are a little sweeter, Romas work well too)
3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
a pound of fresh mozzarella, diced up (or buy the little pearls in a cup, so yummy)
6 sun dried tomatoes (the naughty ones packed in oil), drained and cut up-I usually use a few more than 6, as I am a big fan of sun dried tomatoes
the dressing consists of:
5 more sun dried tomatoes
2 Tbsp of red wine vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil (use the good stuff here)
1 clove of garlic
2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp pepper (freshly ground, if you can)
and to top it all off:
1 cup Parmesan (freshly grated, please)
1 c. packed basil leaves, chopped (or chiffonade, or however you want them)
Cook the pasta with the salt and a dash of oil so it doesn't stick together. Drain and cool. Add the tomatoes and olives and mozz. Throw all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor, and whip up until smooth. (Her original recipe calls for 1 tsp of capers to go in the dressing too, but I am not a caper fan. If you are, by all means throw them in.)
Pour the dressing over the pasta and mix well, sprinkle with the parm and basil, and get a big spoon, a hunk of crusty bread, and a nice glass of wine. You are now officially in summer heaven. And when you're done, eat a piece of watermelon and run through the sprinkler!