What am I going to do with all of these tomatoes?

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Fields of Greens - Annie Somerville

Well, I would eat them plain (with salt is heaven) but I think I need to share with the other members of my family who won’t eat them that way.

I got this cookbook years ago and love it (it is from the Greens Restaurant in San Francisco where we had an amazing dinner – pre-kids – so a million years ago) but only cook from it occasionally as the sheer number of ingredients always intimidates me. But here is a great family friendly recipe that will help use up some of those gorgeous tomatoes. The whole family loves this and it is easy to make.

Penne with Marinated Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic Bread Crumbs

  • 1 1/2 pounds  vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and cut in half crosswise, and seeded
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, about 20-25 leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound penne
  • 1/2 cup garlic bread crumbs (recipe follow or just use plain bread crumbs it works just fine)

Set a large pot of water to boil.  Cut the tomatoes in large pieces and toss with olive oil, garlic, basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes (don’t worry about the time)

When the water is boiling add 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook penne in boiling water for about 8-10 minutes (I accidentally – I was distracted – made this with a pound of pasta and it was still wonderful, just drier and everyone still loved it). When the pasta is cooking, transfer the tomatoes to a large saute an and quickly warm them over medium heat – make sure not to cook them or the skins will draw away.

Drain the penne in a colander and shake off the excess water, add the pasta to the tomatoes in the pan and toss. Sprinkle generously with the bread crumbs and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Optional but wonderful Garlic Bread Crumbs

  • Garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sourdough bread or French baguette

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Peel and finely chop garlic and add to olive oil. Thinly slice the bread and brush on one side with the garlic oil. Lay the brushed slices on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until they are very crisp and golden, Set aside to cool. Break up the slices with your hands, then grind in  a food processor or blender – leaving the texture a little coarse.

Fields of Greens : New Vegetarian Recipes from the Celebrated Greens Restaurant, Annie Somerville, A Bantam Book, 1993

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