Tomato season is upon us! If you are a more successful gardener than I am, you very well may be covered up in tomatoes coming off the vines about now. Unfortunately my measly handful of tomatoes will not suffice for this recipe but my friendly neighborhood farmer’s market helped me out this time. I am also available to take any and all unwanted excess produce that my gardening friends don’t know what to do with.
You could probably use canned tomatoes to make this, but honestly, I’ve never tried it. Why would you? This is one recipe that I hold in reserve for summertime only. And it is worth every minute of the wait. The taste of fresh garden tomatoes simply can’t be matched. Prepping the tomatoes is a little bit of work, but it’s not difficult and well worth the effort, I promise!
Twisted Tomato Corkscrews
2-3 pounds Roma tomatoes (or other small, firm tomato, like Early Girl)
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tbsp. lime juice
1 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
2-3 tsp. chili powder
12 oz. rotini or fusilli pasta
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Set aside a large bowl of ice water. Slice a shallow “x” in the bottom of each tomato.
Drop tomatoes into boiling water in two or three batches. Let them cook about one minute, until skin starts to peel. Remove with tongs and put directly into the bowl of ice water to cool. The peels should then slide right off easily. Peel, cut in half and squeeze out the seeds. Coarsely chop tomatoes. Stir in salt and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a small skillet or sauce pan. Add onion, jalapeno and garlic and cook over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, until fragrant. Pour over tomatoes. Add cilantro, lime juice, tomato paste and chili powder and mix well to combine.
Add pasta to boiling water (I use the same water I used to blanch the tomatoes) and cook 8-10 minutes until tender. Rinse with cool water and let drain. Add to tomato mixture. Add cheese and toss well to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.