It has been miserably hot this past week in Baltimore. All of the members of my household, both human and furry varieties, have spent most of our time splayed out on the floor or couches with our limbs spread wide, our bellies in the air, and our tongues lolling out of the side of our mouths. We’re a sad bunch with zero energy or motivation for anything beyond the most basic tasks of living. Oh the joys of a mid-Atlantic summer.
Whether you too are suffering in the heat, or enjoying a more mild summer that actually makes you want to spend your time outdoors in the company of people you love, if you’re like me, you prefer to limit your cooking time during the summer. Who wants to spend extra time in a hot kitchen when you could be relaxing outside on a beautiful summer evening, or standing with your face pressed up against the air conditioner vent imagining what it would feel like to have the whole world suddenly crust over in beautiful, cold sheets of ice?
Summer meals should be quick, easy, and minimize your time spent next to a hot stove. And ideally, they should make good use of fresh summer ingredients. With those criteria in mind, I share with you one of my favorite super simple dinner recipes that utilizes two of my favorite seasonal tastes: fresh basil and tomatoes. This is a one-pot pasta dish that is easy to prep, quick to cook, and requires very little cleanup. Plus it is really tasty. Pair it with a mixed green salad and some crusty bread and you have a fast, easy meal to share with guests, or to enjoy all on your own as you sit on the couch in your underwear with a fan blowing directly on you from only a foot away.
One Pot Linguine With Tomato and Basil
What You’ll Need:
12 oz linguine (I’ve also used fettuccine)
12 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters depending on size
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes (less if you don’t like things too spicy)
2 sprigs of basil (I usually use more) plus some torn leaves for garnish
2 tbsp EVOO, and a bit more for serving
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 1/2 cups of water
Grated parmesan or other cheese of your choice for serving
What You’ll Do:
In a large sauté pan, combine all of the ingredients except for the cheese. Use about 2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Everything is going in the pan together! Pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, red-pepper, oil, salt, pepper and water. All of it at once! Bring the water to a boil over high heat and cook the pasta, stirring frequently with tongs. You want to cook it until the water is nearly evaporated, which takes about 10 minutes. The pasta will be al dente and should look and taste creamy.
Season with a more salt and pepper as needed, garnish with basil and serve with cheese and more olive oil if needed.