Lee's Kitchen: Peaches and tomatoes join hands in pasta dish
I don’t know about you, but I bought my CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) last December.
Remember back then? Joe Biden had been elected in early November. We knew that there were two COVID vaccines being tested, but no one had them yet. I had not been inside a restaurant in almost a year and I was 1) tired of my own food yet 2) couldn’t really afford much good take-out.
I also felt then, and still do, that restaurant food should be consumed in the restaurant where it had been cooked by chefs (or even just cooks) and served to us when it is meant to be tasted and savored.
In any case, I had written a check for my CSA in December, for Stone Acres Farm in Stonington. Because I paid it early, since the concept is that the farmers can buy their seeds or plants with early money and live frugally through the hard winter months knowing that, once the seeds have turned into food we can buy, they can pay their own bills during the summers and falls.
My CSA began June 22, and each week I get to visit their farmstand and pick up $30 of beautiful, fresh vegetables and herbs. I will be one happy camper until late September.
But I am itchy for the produce. I may not get my favorite, tomatoes, until late July.
But southern-grown peaches are available now in supermarkets, and so are cherry and grape tomatoes. I never thought about peaches and tomatoes together, but here is a recipe I can use right now. And feel free to add sliced chicken, steak or shrimp atop the salad.
Peach and Tomato Pasta
From Fine Cooking, June/July 2021, page 54
12 ounces spaghetti or linguine
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pint grape tomatoes
2 pounds peaches (about 6), pitted and sliced or coarsely chopped
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved (I would use regular green olives)
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Chopped toasted almonds (optional)
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions, reserving ¼ cup pasta water.
Drain spaghetti, return to pot and keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet, cook the garlic in hot oil over medium-heat, 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook, uncovered, 2 minutes. Add peaches and cook until just soft, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in olives, basil, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and the red crushed pepper and heat through.
Add peach mixture to the cooked spaghetti along with the reserved pasta water and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with almonds, if using.
Lee White of Groton can be reached at email@example.com.
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