Pasta with Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs

August 17, 2014
Heirloom Tomatoes

I love heirloom tomatoes.  Although this is a foodie stereotype on par with with rhapsodizing about kale and taking pictures of food in restaurants (of which I am also guilty), my feelings are nevertheless genuine.  Before eating them, I let them bask on my countertop for few days, admiring their vibrant red and purple hues and appreciating the beautiful imperfections of their lumpy surfaces.  This week's extended tomato admiration period also gave me time to scheme about what to do with my bounty.  They were too good to add to a pasta bake or waste in a recipe that drowned out their unique flavors with overpowering ingredients.

The recipe I improvised is a fancier take on my classic pasta with fresh sauce: in addition to olive and basil, the tomatoes are combined with chives, rosemary, and lemon juice.  The garnish of toasted of pine nuts adds a richness that makes this dish taste like it took much longer than fifteen minutes to put together.  If you don't have heirloom tomatoes, I suspect any ripe tomato would do just as nicely.

Inspired by Rebecca Miller's Pasta with Ricotta and Heirloom Tomatoes, published in Real Simple, July 2010


Pasta with Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs Ingredients  
  • 3 cups dry penne
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2 pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • shredded Parmesan

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking pan frequently, until pine nuts are golden, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Combine tomatoes, chives, rosemary, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.

Serve prepared pasta topped with tomato mixture, and garnish with toasted pine nuts and Parmesan.

Pasta with Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs