Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pasta Estate a la Capri

This week's recipe is extra special.  I get to feature my mom, who has made this dish for me for as long as I can remember.  It is one of my all-time favorite summer dishes, and is so versatile.  While the actual recipe is quite simple, you can do so much with it, it's a must-have.  As an added bonus for me, we are at the beach this week - a place that holds so many childhood memories, and promises to be a place of memories with my girls now.

One of the main ingredients of this week's recipe is tomatoes, which calls for a trip to the local vegetable stand.  I have been going to this stand with my mom for as long as I can remember - always pulling in for ripe, red tomatoes or juicy fresh peaches.  One time, I was picking wildflowers on the side of the stand while waiting.  My mom apologized to the owner, thinking he might be offended.  He just said, "Oh, no problem.  Katherine Hepburn was here earlier doing the same." 

To give you a flavor of the season, and of this beautiful place, I'm including a few photos of the stand.  Scroll down for the recipe.


For this week's recipe, you will need:
  • 3-4 large ripe tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1 6 oz. can black olives
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup basil (about 25 large leaves)
Measure 1 cup olive oil and pour into a large bowl.
Press garlic cloves and add to oil.  Stir to mix.

Chop olives (reserve a few for snacking while you work) and add to bowl.

Chop tomatoes and add to bowl.

Chop basil (at home, I use my kitchen shears for long, thin strips) and add to bowl.

Add a scant teaspoon of salt and mix well.

You can serve the salad at this point, use as a bruschetta topping, or toss with freshly cooked hot pasta and mozzarella.  Lately, I've been cubing day-old bread and mixing it in - much less messy than bruschetta but just as tasty. 
Thank you, mamacita, for sharing one of my favorites this week!  You're the best!

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