Amelia's Summertime Tomato Basil Dinner
- Radiatore, Red Tomatoes, Basil, Garlic, Oil, Provolone
- 1 1-lb box of Radiatore (ruffles) pasta
- 6 cups (1425 ml) chopped ripe tomatoes
- 2 cups (475 ml) chopped fresh basil
- 3 medium garlic cloves
- 3/4 lb (.3 kg). aged provolone cheese
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
- salt and black pepper
- Chop the tomatoes into 1/2 inch sized pieces.
- Chop the basil coarsely.
- Dice the garlic into very fine pieces.
- Combine tomatoes (with all juices), basil, garlic, and olive oil in large bowl.
- The flavor is best if this can be done several hours ahead of serving, but it's OK if time does not allow. Keep this mixture at room temperature.
- Grate the provolone (fine or coarse); set aside.
- Boil pasta according to package directions; drain well.
- Add hot pasta to tomato-basil-garlic-oil mixture.
- Add grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and mix well.
- Serve immediately.
- Extra grated cheese may be used at the table.
- All the best fresh tastes of summertime! Except for the pasta, all ingredients
are approximate and may be varied to taste. Only vine-ripe (summertime)
tomatoes should be used. The dish can take great quantities of basil without
being dominated by it; the key is using fresh leaf basil -- don't substitute
spice-jar basil. Garlic can be as little as one clove (Irish version) or
six cloves (Greco-Roman style). Any amount of oil, from none to 1/2 cup,
will work. Cheese can vary from 1/2 to 1 pound. Aged provolone is very
different from standard sandwich/slicing provolone. Domestic or imported,
this is a hard gratable cheese. It can be bought from Italian delis or
gourmet stores. The domestic is frequently available in supermarkets,
sold pre-packaged in half-moon shaped blocks. To sharpen the flavor,
1/4 lb of pecorino or locatelli may be substituted for a like amount of
the provolone. This dish works with any pasta type, but it truly is best
with Radiatore. These are generally available in pricey specialty brands,
or Mueller's Ruffles (tastes identical).