Cherry and grape tomatoes are in abundance by late August, as is fresh corn and herbs. So this “clean-out-the-larder” approach helps you use up some of the excess staples and fresh produce in a tasty way.
It starts with a roasted cherry-tomato sauce that includes garlic, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to add a slightly sweet note. To scale back on the sweetness, switch the balsamic to red wine vinegar and reduce or omit the brown sugar.
On occasion, we have already cooked ears of corn leftover from a previous meal. Here’s a chance to use them up. Cut the kernels off the cobs and add them to boiling water when you toss in the dried fusilli.
Once the pasta is done, plate into a large serving bowl and stir in the pesto—we used a homemade sage pesto* but one made with basil will work just as well. Next fold in the tomato mixture and let guests scoop out a serving, passing the grated parmesan around for topping. A side salad makes a nice companion to the pasta and uses up more of your produce.
*FOR THE SAGE PESTO:
• ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
• ½ cup fresh sage leaves
• ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 oz. (1/2 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra for serving
• Salt and pepper
Pulse pine nuts and garlic in food processor until coarsely chopped, about 5 pulses. Add parsley and sage; with processor running, slowly add oil and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to bowl, stir in Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Summer Solution Pasta
- 1 1⁄2 lbs. cherry or grape tomatoes
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. coarse salt
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried thyme)
- 1 or 2 ears of corn, cooked with kernels cut off the cob
- 1⁄4 cup fresh basil or sage pesto (see recipe above)
- 1 lb. whole wheat fusilli, cooked according to package directions
- Grated Parmesan for topping
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Mix together tomatoes and garlic in a nonreactive 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
- Whisk together oil, vinegar, thyme, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Drizzle over tomato mixture.
- Bake until tomatoes are softened and caramelized, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile cook the fusilli according to package directions, adding the corn kernels in with the pasta when the water starts to boil. Time it so the pasta is done at about the same time as the tomatoes.
- Mix the pesto into the fusilli and corn and fold in the tomato mixture.
- Serve, passing around the grated parmesan for topping.