When tomatoes are ripe and tender enough to eat like apples, I love to exploit them in a raw pasta sauce. Leave the mushy, bland ones behind—only the freshest, tastiest ones are good enough. Then all you have to do is chop them up, toss them in a big bowl, and season them like a salad. This recipe from Gourmet adds some corn, scallion, oil, and vinegar. This mixture, even without pasta, is good enough to eat as is.
But I couldn't leave it alone. I added some arugula for a nice bitter bite and used spaghetti instead of the recommended shaped pasta (since I had it on hand). The arugula really worked too, adding depth and a pleasing balance to the dish. It gently wilts underneath the hot pasta. I'm not quite as sure about the spaghetti. I think a shaped pasta like fusilli would probably work better, but it's hard to argue with these results. It's summer pasta at its absolute freshest.
- Yield:2 to 3
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup cooked corn kernels (about 1 ear of corn)
- 1 pound tomatoes, peeled, stemmed, and chopped
- 1/4 cup scallion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound pasta
- Handful arugula
- Salt and pepper
- Grated Parmesan
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Toss in the pasta and cook according to the directions on the box.
Meanwhile, pour the vinegar into a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the corn, tomatoes, scallion, and arugula. Toss until coated.
When pasta is done cooking, drain the pasta and then toss with the dressing. The arugula should begin to wilt. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle on a little parmesan.