Jersey No-Cook Pasta Sauce

All summer long, I’ve been covering the Blackwood Farmer’s Market for the Gloucester Township Patch. It has been pretty much a dream, combining two of my favorite things: food and writing. 

One of my favorite things is finding out everyone’s favorite recipes. One of the weekly vendors, Dave Monteleon Farms, is always bursting with tomatoes, fairy tale eggplant, beets, corn, peppers, peaches, basil and everything under the Jersey Summer Sun.  Doris Monteleon shared her favorite summer pasta recipe.

The recipe uses Juliet tomatoes, which sort of look like mini-plum tomatoes. You can truly use any tomato you like–I used Juliets plus a few tomatoes from our own backyard garden. To my recipe, I tossed in a few cloves of fresh garlic (Doris did not include this ingredient in her original recipe).

This sauce is bursting with garden goodness–you can taste the sunshine and the rain in every bite. It sort of makes you believe that miracles do happen–after all those tomatoes just started with a tiny seed in a green house way back in the dark days of winter.

The leftovers (if you have any) are great cold. I am eating some right now. ( :

The goodies:
1 pint Juliet tomatoes, plus 2 or 3 medium tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
handful of fresh basil
3 T. olive oil
1 pound curly pasta noodle, such rigatoni or cellentani
1 ball fresh mozzarella, diced

 The work:
1. Quarter the smaller Juliet tomatoes and coarsely chop the larger tomatoes. Place in a large bowl.
2. Grate or mince garlic. Coarsely chop fresh basil. Combine garlic, basil, tomatoes, olive and salt/pepper.
3. While the tomatoes mixture is sitting, cook pasta according to package instructions.
4. Drain cooked pasta. Add mozzarella to tomato mixture.  Top the pasta with the cheese/tomato mixture. The cheese melts, the tomatoes release a little juice and the basil sings.

It is THAT good!


Triple mini tomato bruschetta

Tomato bruschetta was the first grown up dish I learned to make. Over the years, I’ve played with my recipe a bit and finally, I think I’ve stumbled on the most brilliant variation using food from the season.

I am absolutely loving the variety of summer tomatoes. You will love this triple mini tomato bruschetta made a mixture of yellow grape tomatoes, purple cherry tomatoes and red teardrop tomatoes. The variety of mini tomatoes infuse this bruschetta with sunshine and soil. It is absolutely fantastic. Bruschetta is great on fresh bread or use to top a salad, as a no-cook pasta sauce or on chicken or fish.

The good stuff:
About 1 pint–mixed variety of mini tomatoes (grape, cherry, teardrop), cut into quarters
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 cup of fresh basil leaves, snipped/chopped into thin strips
1/4 cup EVOO
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Kosher Salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
2 baguettes, sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
Mix tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, EVOO, vinegar and salt/pepper (to taste). You can serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with sliced baguettes.

Fresh Tomato Tart

I think garden fresh tomatoes are quite possibly manna from heaven. I love all the varieties–especially the heirloom tomatoes Mike grew this year. I can’t stop myself from popping the tiny teardrop tomatoes in my mouth (every five seconds, like they are candy) and from slicing up the larger beefsteak varieties, topped with salt and pepper. I am always on the search for new delicious ways to use up our crop.

I missed the boat on Quiche-tastic Monday this week, so I had some extra pie crusts. I’ve always wanted to make a Tomato Tart–it sounds so French. This tart is so easy–it takes minutes to put together and about 20 minutes to bake. Serve it along side a green salad and it is a perfect meal!
The goods:
Refrigerated pie crust (or make your own)
2 tablespoons hot or dijon mustard (I used Nance’s Hot mustard; but a good dijon would be great)
2 medium-sized tomatoes
handful (about 6) teardrop, grape or other small tomato
1 garlic clove, sliced extra thin
Dozen fresh basil leaves, sliced
4 oz goat cheese
Olive Oil
Make it:
1. Preheat oven to 450F
2. Roll out pie crust into a tart pan. Pitch the sides to make a nice edge.
3. Evenly spread mustard onto bottom of tart crust. Let sit while you slice tomatoes–medium tomatoes should be sliced into 1/8 inch slices; small tomatoes, slice into thirds.
4. Evenly distribute larger tomato slices on bottom of pie crust. Fill in any gaps with the small tomatoes.
5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, basil and garlic slices
6. Slice goat cheese (it won’t slice neatly like other hard cheeses) and distribute on top of the tomatoes and herbs.
7. Drizzle a little olive oil on top. Bake for about 20 minutes.
8. Let sit for 5 minutes and slice. This is great room temperature or even cold.