A simple, fresh dinner of sweet summer tomatoes tossed with pasta and spinach as a no-cook veggie-filled sauce. This easy pasta dish is a summertime favourite!
I love getting produce as a gift – any food really. My sister dropped off a gorgeous rainbow of tomatoes the other day as a gift from the garden of a friend of my parents. This delightful man, who I have never met in person, is also the origin of the delicious eggplants I received a few weeks ago. I must beg him to teach my his gardening ways because the only thing I can keep alive is my kitchen bench orchid. I have always dreamed of a big veggie garden bursting with fresh veggies. I have several neighbours who have turned their small front gardens into little fields of lettuce and peas. Mine, sadly, remains filled with the plants our developer put in. It’s not that I’m not trying. I’m just not gifted with a green thumb/brain space to remember to water a garden…
Anyway, I think my talents really lie in turning other people’s produce into easy, delicious dishes that celebrate their home grown ingredients. These beautiful little cherry tomatoes came in a stoplight trio of colours: green, red, and yellow! The green ones were a special variety that stays a pretty apple green even when they are ripe! I love that! And they all had slightly different flavours. When I saw them I knew I wanted to make something simple and perfect for a summer evening that featured a large helping of these little gems.
I really wanted to highlight the variety and flavour of the tomatoes in this dish. I added only minimal other ingredients: good quality gluten free pasta, spinach, garlic infused olive oil, salt and pepper, and a large sprinkling of feta for some salty goodness (it’s just as good with sharp cheddar if you don’t have any feta handy) – only ingredients that enhance the tomato’s garden fresh flavour, but not compete with it. Apart from cooking the pasta this dish requires no time near the oven or stove, which is exactly what I want on these hot summer days. (Y’all, it’s already in the 30C/90F range and it’s only November…)
The fresh tomatoes soften slightly with the heat of the pasta and the garlic infused olive oil is just enough garlic flavour to balance out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes without becoming the star player. I feel like this dish is best served while sitting near a window with a cool night breeze, beside the one you love, with a big green salad, and perhaps a little tipple of something sparkling. Make the most of your summer tomatoes and celebrate their natural full-of-sunshine flavour with this fresh pasta dish.
Fresh Tomato Pasta
gluten free | vegetarian | serves 4 as a light meal and 2 greedy people
- 150 grams (5 ounces) dry pasta
- 500 grams (generous 1 pound) mixed cherry/grape tomatoes
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon garlic-infused olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 60 grams feta, crumbled
- Halve the tomatoes and set aside.
- Cook pasta according to instructions on the packet. In the last minute of cooking add the baby spinach leaves.
- Once pasta is cooked, drain, reserving about 1/3 cup of pasta cooking liquid.
- Add tomatoes to pasta along with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss very well. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid to loosen everything up if required.
- Serve with feta crumbled on top.