The season is rolling along and we have our favorite summer recipes on repeat. Ina Garten’s Summer Garden Pasta is a summer staple – when you have fresh, local tomatoes at your disposal you look for every tomato recipe available! And this year, I finally made Ina’s Panzanella. This recipe gets rave reviews but I never made it myself. Now that I’ve made it, I may never stop.
A while back we did a post on barbecue sides (you can find it by clicking here). Though a party favorite, we didn't include Summer Garden Pasta because it really is a meal in itself. It's on my favorites list because there’s barely any time spent around the stove. Ina recommends letting the tomatoes marinate in the olive oil mixture for four hours, but I’ve left them longer and we just love it! Honestly, for me, the most difficult part of this recipe is remembering to get the tomatoes going ahead of time. My other tip is to let the pasta rest with the tomatoes for a bit so that the heat of the pasta doesn’t melt the grated Parmesan too quickly.
The Panzanella is just as simple and so pretty! It’s another one of those recipes that tastes better the longer the flavors sit together. The vinaigrette is so good. I think it would also be great on a number of different salads – so you may want to make a little extra. The cubed French bread croutons are amazing just by themselves – the hardest part of this recipe was keeping everyone from eating them before they got into the salad!
Both of these dishes are perfect for summer and easy to divide up into containers for a meal on the go. They are also crowd pleasers so bring them to your next barbecue or summer dinner party. As Ina says, ‘How easy is that!’.
Summer Garden Pasta
4 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
Good olive oil (Olio Santo)
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
18 large basil leaves, julienned, plus extra for serving
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried angel hair pasta
1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Combine the cherry tomatoes, ½ cup olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for about 4 hours.
Just before you’re ready to serve, bring a large pot of water with a splash of olive oil and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente according to the directions on the package (be careful – it only takes 2 to 3 minutes!). Drain the pasta well and add to the bowl with the cherry tomatoes. Add the cheese and some extra fresh basil leaves and toss well. Serve in big bowls with extra cheese on each serving.
Copyright 2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained
For the Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil (Olio Santo)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together the ingredients.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.
Copyright 2001, Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved