Hello summer gardeners, have your tomatoes come in yet? Our plants are just beginning to bear ripe tomatoes, and if I can just keep the hornworms at bay (Constant Vigilance!) we'll have a wondrous crop.
Our basil got a late start but is now happily bursting out of the raised beds, requiring daily snipping. Those two—tomatoes and basil—such perfect partners in the garden, and on the plate.
Here's a quick and easy, kid-pleasing angel hair pasta dish we made recently with chopped canned clams and cherry tomatoes and basil from the garden. I say "kid pleasing" because my 16-year old nephew gobbled it up and came back for more. He's sort of a big kid now, but I think that younger ones would like this too.
Angel Hair Pasta with Clams, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil
- 30 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, divided
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup sliced shallots
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 6-ounce cans chopped clams (and their juices)
- 8 ounces capellini or angel hair pasta
- Salt for the pasta water
Toss cherries with salt and basil:
Place sliced cherry tomatoes in a bowl. Toss with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 2 Tbsp of the chopped fresh basil. Set aside.
Boil salted water, prep shallots and garlic:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (4 quarts of water, 2 Tbsp salt). While the water is coming to a boil, prep the shallots and garlic and start the sauce.
Make tomato clam sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and cook until translucent, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chopped clams with their juices.
Reduce the heat to low and let simmer at a low temperature while the pasta is cooking in the next step.
Cook the pasta:
Once the salted pasta water comes to a rolling boil, add pasta and cook, uncovered at high heat until al dente, no more than 2 minutes.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Add the 1/4 cup of pasta water to the sauce in the sauté pan.
Combine pasta and sauce:
Add the pasta to the cherry tomato mixture and toss to combine. Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil.