The tomato suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. Botanically, it’s a fruit. But cooks consider it a vegetable because it lacks the higher natural sugar content that typically characterizes fruits. No need to pity the tomato, however. It’s used in kitchens all over the globe. Plus, it’s one of the most versatile ingredients we have in the kitchen. Think of the famed pizza Margherita, gazpacho soup, tomato gratin, and more tomato-based pastas than you could ever count.
The red and gold cherry tomato pasta featured here is noteworthy both for its simplicity and its colorful presentation. Spaghettini is tossed with lightly cooked red and gold cherry tomatoes, along with shallots, basil and extra virgin olive oil. A few red pepper flakes add a little heat to the dish.
Tomatoes are plentiful these days at the farmer’s market, thanks to July’s arrival. And this dish lends itself to fresh farm-grown tomatoes.
“It is as sweet, natural and pure tasting as a sun-warmed sliced tomato on toast,” writes Janet Fletcher in her excellent cookbook Fresh from the Farmer’s Market (Chronicle Books: 2008), where this recipe appears.
Fletcher says you could make the sauce for her pasta using just red tomatoes. “But the gold tomatoes add eye appeal,” she adds.
By the way, you can get more tomato recipes and information by going to the current issue of our In Season eNewsletter.
Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch