Earlier this summer, my sister-in-law and I made a dinner plan for freshly-killed (sorry) roast chickens from Morning Glory Farm on Martha’s Vineyard with a big caprese salad on the side. We had seen the chickens earlier in the week and couldn’t wait to cook them up. Unfortunately, by the time we got over to the farm, the chickens had been frozen, and although we tried, there was no way they were going to be defrosted enough to roast for dinner that night. With 6 adults staring at us for dinner, we got creative in the kitchen and came up with one of the best dinners of the summer.
Hadley and Nikki’s Impromptu Caprese Pasta – with a Twist!
(The base of this is the Fresh Pasta Sauce from Silver Palate cookbook – the first dish I learned to cook on my own)
4 large ripe SUMMER tomatoes – seeded and cut into cubes
1 cup olive oil – use the best quality you have around
garlic – we probably used 5 or 6 cloves – peeled and smashed
3 balls of mozzarella
4 ripe nectarines or peaches
Fresh corn, cut from 3 cobs
Lots of basil and chives, sliced or torn
Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan until it is shimmering and fragrant. Add the smashed garlic and pull off of the heat. Add the diced tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and let stand for at least half an hour, but it can sit for a while. It only gets better.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta to taste (al dente is good, because it will soak up some of the liquid from the sauce for extra flavor). Make sure you salt that water!
While the pasta is cooking, cut the nectarines and mozzarella into cubes the same size as the tomatoes. Drain the pasta, add the tomato sauce, nectarines, corn, mozz and the herbs (you can add any mix of herbs here, and it’s not like you can add too many). Toss to mix and coat all the pasta. Adjust the seasonings and serve into bowls. Top each bowl with freshly grated parm.
The nectarines and corn elevate this pasta to a whole new level. It is truly summer in a bowl.
Pair this pasta with a chilled rosé, served in rocks glasses for an extra easy dinner. We recommend the Lioco Indica rosé from Mendocino County, which has beautiful nectarine aromas, and red fruit flavors that will pair perfectly with the tomatoes.