There it is….my very last tomato from my garden for the season…grown from seeds I bought in Italy in the spring. Look at its simple beauty…ahhh, how the sweet flavor of those homegrown tomatoes will be missed during the long, dark days ahead! (Thank heavens I have a freezer stocked with fresh tomato sauce made from this season’s bounty. Not enough to get me through the winter but at least make a dent!) This calls for a little festa in celebration of our little friend, the pomodoro….an arrivederci until the warm days of spring return again and I can once again feel the fresh garden soil between my fingers. And what better way to celebrate than with my favorite dish of the season – fresh tomato and tuna pasta. I don’t dare admit just how many times I make this simple dish during the summer months (both with and without the tuna). It is my ‘breakfast of champions’, my ‘I-don’t feel-like-going-to-the-market’ lunch and my ‘uh-oh, company-is-coming’ dinner…..and given the hefty size of my one remaining vestige of summer, just enough to be my ‘Toast to the Pomodoro’ festa dish for two last evening! (I scaled up the recipe below to serve 4.) So whether this dish becomes your breakfast, lunch or dinner, enjoy! Buon appetito….
Fresh Tomato and Tuna Pasta
1 pound of your favorite pasta (I love the new Barilla PLUS line!)
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 anchovies, finely minced
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 can oil packed Italian tuna
6-8 large Roma tomatoes (chopped) or 1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved) or 1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano whole tomatoes (drained and chopped)
1/3 cup parsley or basil leaves (which ever you prefer!)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain.
2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
3. Saute garlic until light golden brown. Add the red pepper flakes then the anchovies and tuna. Stir to blend.
4. Add the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes break down, about 5-10 minutes.
5. Toss the sauce with the cooked pasta. Add some of pasta water if sauce is too thick.
6. Stir in the parsley or basil and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy….