We have only a small patch of ground to use for a garden in our back yard and I’ve mostly filled it with fresh herbs. Since this is the first year we’ve lived in our house, I wasn’t sure what the soil quality was like or if anything would grow. To my surprise (and with some unusually wet weather this spring and summer), we now have a thriving herb garden growing in a small space under our kitchen window. The parsley and basil are growing especially well and I’ve been trying to find recipes to use up this unexpected bounty of fresh herbs. I recently remembered a pasta recipe I used to make with fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil. I couldn’t remember where the recipe came from or what exactly was in it, but I do remember that it tasted just like a summer meal should and this is my attempt to recreate that fresh, lemony flavor of summers past. It’s also a wonderful meal for summer because the “sauce” is really just a mixture of fresh tomatoes, herbs, oil and garlic that does not have to be cooked at all. Unlike a rich marinara or bolognese sauce which need to simmer for hours, this pasta only requires a little chopping and tossing.
I used basil and parsley because I needed to use up some of the parsley growing wild in my garden, but I actually ended up loving the additional herbal freshness of the parsley. Parmesan might seem like too strong a flavor for this pasta, but I think it adds a nice briny element, so I put a little in the pasta and just a sprinkling on top. However, this could easily be made vegan and dairy-free by omitting the parmesan and using egg-free noodles.
- 1 pound linguine
- 4 medium, ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- a few grinds freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook according to package directions. While the linguine cooks, add the tomatoes, herbs, garlic, zest, cheese, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil while gently tossing the ingredients to combine.
- Drain the cooked linguine and add to the bowl with the tomato mixture. Using two forks or a pasta server, gently toss the linguine with the tomato mixture until mixed. Serve immediately, topped with extra parmesan, if desired.