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Monday, August 10, 2009

Penne With Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil, Green Beans and Feta

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
Published: August 5, 2009
Penne With Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil, Green Beans and Feta

Sweet, juicy heirloom tomatoes lend themselves well to uncooked tomato sauces. In summer, I make quick meals out of chopped ripe tomatoes, pasta and green vegetables.

6 to 8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed, strings removed if necessary, and broken in half if very long

2 cups chopped fresh ripe tomatoes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 plump garlic clove, minced (more to taste)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (I like to use a very good coarse sea salt or fleur de sel for this)

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)

2 tablespoons slivered basil

2 ounces crumbled feta (about 1/2 cup)

3/4 pound pasta (penne or fusilli are good choices)

1. Combine the olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt and pepper in a large bowl, and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes (or longer).

2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Add the green beans to the boiling water, and boil four to five minutes, depending on how crunchy you like them. Remove with a strainer or skimmer, and transfer to the ice water. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then drain and set aside.

3. Bring the water back to a boil, and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, about eight minutes. When the pasta is ready, drop the green beans back into the water to heat, then drain the pasta and beans and toss at once with the tomato mixture and the feta. Serve hot or room temperature.

Yield: Serves four.

Advance preparation: The sauce can be assembled several hours ahead. If you want the basil to maintain its vivid color, leave it out until just before serving.

Recipes for Health See previous recipes ยป

Each week this series, published in the NYTimes, presents recipes around a particular type of produce or a pantry item. This is food that is vibrant and light, full of nutrients but by no means ascetic, fun to cook and a pleasure to eat.


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