It's getting to be that time of year again...weather is getting warmer, I have basil growing in my backyard and tomatoes are more readily available. All this combined made me really hungry for Bruschetta - chopped tomatoes with basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar - and I thought instead of just making that served with crostini, I could just toss it with some pasta for a quick no-cook sauce. It was excellent! So great for a hot summer night when you don't feel like slaving over a hot stove (except to make the pasta of course). I also included the recipe for the crostinis (little toasts) because I served them with our pasta.
1 pound thin spaghetti
6 plum tomatoes, chopped and seeded
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
6-8 basil leaves, chopped
sea salt and black pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 baguette of French bread
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
Prepare pasta according to directions. Follow the next steps while the pasta is cooking.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice the baguette in 1/2 inch slices and arrange on a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush a small amount of olive oil on each slice. Toast for 5-6 minutes until they start to turn a golden brown. Once removed from the oven, rub a little bit of the garlic clove onto each piece of toast.
Chop and seed tomatoes while bread is toasting. In a medium bowl, toss with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. When the pasta is done, drain and return to the pot. Toss with the tomato mixture and top with Parmesan cheese (if using).