Heirloom tomatoes are pretty cool. All sorts of varieties that you never see in the store. Normally I only find them at farmer’s markets and they are just about irresistible. But this time I spied some heirloom cherry tomatoes at Trader Joe’s and just had to snatch them up. What didn’t go directly into my mouth ended up in this delicious pasta dish.
I make about a million versions of this particular dish depending on what’s in season and what’s in my fridge at any given moment. This version included a double bump of basil since I had leftover pesto I had made a day or two before and then I also threw in some freshly picked pesto leaves from my garden as well. The veggies are barely cooked, just warmed really to release the juices and get warm. It’s absolutely bursting with summer flavors.
Pasta with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes (or the regular ones will do), halved
1/2 cup black olives, halved
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup basil pesto (click here for my recipe or use your favorite)
2-3 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes or strips
Handful of fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped or torn
1 pound pasta (I really like some sort of corkscrew shape for this to catch all the little yummy bits)
Get everything chopped before you start cooking, because this all comes together very quickly.
Boil pasta until tender. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook about a minute until fragrant but not browned. Add onion and saute a bit until slightly tender. When the pasta is just about done, add tomatoes, olives and pesto. Cook and stir just a couple of minutes to heat through. I prefer the veggies barely cooked so they still have that garden fresh flavor. Toss in some fresh basil, mozzarella and a pinch of salt and pepper. Drain pasta and add to pan with veggies and cheese. Toss to combine and serve immediately. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan if desired.