Tuesday, September 13, 2011

One Great . . . Late Summer Pasta Dish

With the good-tomato season running out faster than a kid who's missing the bus, I can't resist buying as many as I can at the farmers market. Which means that I look up late in the week and realize I have several fat tomatoes that are crossing the border from ripe to too-ripe.

Casting around for a way to turn a few juicy specimens into dinner, I spied the new book "Cook This Now," from New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark. Organized by seasons, it was easy to find the dish "Pasta With Bacon, Rosemary, and Very Ripe Tomatoes." It was fast and easy, and piled next to a piece of wild salmon, it made a tasty summer supper.

Pasta With Bacon, Rosemary, and Very Ripe Tomatoes

Serves 2 (4 at my house, thanks to the salmon)

8 ounces pasta shape of choice (she suggests farro spaghetti; I used farfelle)
3 ounces bacon, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (I used a little home-cured slab bacon from the freezer)
1 large, bushy rosemary sprig (I pulled the leaves off the sprig and minced them)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 very large or 3 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
Balsamic vinegar (optional)
Soft herbs, such as minced thyme, if you want (very optional)
Grated Pecorino Romano (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions (11 minutes for farfelle).

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel, leaving the fat in the pan; if it looks really greasy, spoon some out to just leave a thin layer. (Since I was using thicker slab bacon, I just left it in the pan and cooked it into the sauce.)

the rosemary, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste to the skillet and cook until the garlic is lightly browned but not burned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and let the sauce simmer until the pasta is cooked. Season aggressively with more salt and pepper. If it tastes flat, add a few drops of vinegar.

the pasta and add to the sauce, tossing to mix. Sprinkle with the bacon and herbs if you're using them. Grate some Pecorino Romano over the top if desired.


Mandi @ Southern Gnome said...

I can't wait to give this a try. I have a ton of rosemary and a few really ripe tomatoes on my counter right now. Dinner tonight!!