The smell of freshly mown grass infusing the whole house with it's sweet aroma.
The softball field across the street ringing with the crack of the bat and loud cheers.
Soft breezes blowing through the window screen, cool air caressing our skin in the evening.
And the first bowl of Sun Dried Tomato Pasta, brimming with fresh mozzarella, kalamata olives, juicy grape tomatoes, and fresh basil, sitting on the countertop waiting to be devoured.
Oh yes, the best days of the year are here.
And in case you missed my post of this very favorite warm weather recipe last year, I shall post it again!
I present to you one of our favorite summer meals-Ina Garten's Sun Dried Tomato Pasta - with my own twist. (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. basil leaves (use more or less, depending on your taste), chopped
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. I usually make it in the morning and stick it in the fridge, so the flavors can all get happy together. When you are ready, get a big spoon, a hunk of crusty bread, and a nice glass of wine.
Aren't we glad it's finally May?