19 August 2009

Spaghetti with Heirloom Tomatoes, Feta and Basil

As time goes on I find myself grilling less and less. Meat seems to be disappearing from my daily diet and being replaced by delicious sun-ripened tomatoes and every other conceivable vegetable known to man. Well that may be a slight exaggeration but I am working my way through the farmers market step by step, all the while complaining of the lack of zucchini flowers....wink...wink...As mentioned in my previous post I got my hands on some delicious Heirloom tomatoes over the weekend that have been making their way into my meal planning. While the wild world of global trading means that we now have access to many fruits and vegetables year round, somehow sun-ripened fruits and vegetables just taste better when you they are in season. That is a no brainer.

With my bounty of heirlooms I decided I had to prepare my all time favourite pasta dish for this weeks Presto Pasta Nights. They are so sweet and delicious and every colour of the rainbow. The rich tapestry of colours, the diversity and depth of their flavour, and the general beauty of these tomatoes provide an experience that your average grocery store tomato just can't match!!! I am therefore submitting this dish to Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast . This week the event is being hosted by Helen from Fuss Free Flavors



** Spaghetti with Heirloom Tomatoes, Feta and Basil**

8 ounces spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for tossing the pasta
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound heirloom tomatoes, chopped (all colours and varieties)
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaved parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained (optional, but good) ( I substituted finely chopped red onion)
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
15 basil leaves, thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about I cup)

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in spaghetti and cook until al dente, 8 to 9 minutes. Reserve a cupful of the pasta cooking water, then drain the spaghetti, drizzle lightly with olive oil, toss to coat. Set aside.

In a bowl combine heirloom tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes , parsley, capers (or red onions), vinegar,basil, and season with salt and pepper. Place a skillet over medium-high heat; add enough of the reserved pasta water to make the pasta slippery, and cook for about 2 minutes, tossing the spaghetti to combine all the ingredients, until slightly warmed through. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with the crumbled feta cheese.

Serves 4 - 6

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37 comments:

  1. You really love those heirloom tomatoes Val! Lovely combo with the feta and basil.

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  2. this looks absolutely fantastic! i am definitely going to have to try it out! especially since i have heirloom tomatoes growing in my own little garden :) i found your blog by way of city girl's.

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  3. I love how you make pasta, look lovely xxGloria

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  4. That's just the kind of dish I love! Perfect!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  5. It's perfect Val , just perfect.

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  6. I love the addition of capers. Sounds like a great meal!

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  7. Hmmmm, working out the spaghetti!!

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  8. Delicious recipe. You really took the idea of fresh tomatoes and pasta outside the box.

    I wish my farmer's marekets would carry zucchini flowers too.

    Two of the three pathetic little tomatoes I managed to coax out of my plants at home are finally starting to turn red. I need to do something creative with them.

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  9. I love spaghetti and this one looks really perfect!

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  10. You are really getting the best out of those heirlooms!!! Lovely, summery salad!!

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  11. Another gorgeous summer meal...love it!

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  12. Great minds think alike Val! I just posted a very similar recipe. We are on the same food wavelength just now :)

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  13. My perfect dinner - yum yum yum!!

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  14. I'm catching up...

    Where do I start? This one, the Layered Heirloom Tomatoes with Feta & Basil Oil, or your Corn Pikelets with Fresh Tomato Salsa?

    They all look DIVINE.

    I keep waiting for my tomatoes to ripen, but alas, it's been a chilly summer here. Any day now.

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  15. I wish meat would disappear from my diet more! My husband has a fit if he doesn't eat meat. What a caveman!;0)

    The pasta looks perfect to me!

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  16. A simple fresh super tasty pasta dish...nothing like working with beautiful heirloom tomatoes! So glad I came across your blog! It's fantastic!
    P.S/I'm a BCer too!

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  17. Such a wonderful recipe. I have saved it for summer! :)

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  18. Great choice of ingredients! :)

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  19. Oh this looks marvelous! I love the photo, and I think I made yummy noises as I read the recipe and instructions! I like that this can be served at room temperature, too! Gotta love those garden fresh tomatoes! YUM!

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  20. Val that looks so good! I could eat that right now at 7.30am!

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  21. this looks fabulous! my homegrown tomatoes are just starting to ripen and i can't wait to get cooking with them.

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  22. Mmmm, tomatoes, feta, and basil definitely equals perfection!! Such a beautiful summer dish!

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  23. Way to go. You have me salivating for some pasta and its only 8 am. I am with you on the phasing out meat. I occasionaly crave it but I think that is a feeling that will pass with time. I like a good meatless pasta dish and this one sounds wonderful.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I love your blog photos too.

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  24. Those heirloom tomatoes look divine Val. I would gladly give up any form of meat for this pasta! I have never been a huge fan of meat even as a child.

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  25. Beautiful, Val, and I am so with you on just enjoying vegetables. Last night we had a wonderful baba ganoush from a recipe by Gourmet Worrier, fresh sun gold tomatoes and corn on the cob - paradise!

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  26. I also love love herloom tomatoes! So much potential. My favorite is the "cone" tomato, called in France Cone of the Andes.

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  27. Had my first heirloom this year, wow it was incredible....I will never be able to eat tomatoes in the winter again.

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  28. This recipe and the one below both look fabulous! It has been quite warm since we returned from our trip and I haven't felt much like cooking!

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  29. You've incorporated all the beautiful flavors of the Mediterranean in one sensational dish. Bravo!

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  30. It is a fantastic time of year for fresh produce. We're a little behind BC out here on the East Coast, but our tomatoes are almost here.

    Thanks for sharing such a tasty dish with Presto Pasta Nights.

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  31. Val, Catching up on your recent posts and all I can say is everything looks so mouthwatering good! Your photos show just how delicious it all must taste!

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  32. We seem to be thinking along the same lines this week with the feta and fresh tomatoes. I love that you added capers to your salad.

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  33. Looks great! I totally agree about vegetables in season!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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