Summertime means tomatoes. My favorite are the little cherry and grape tomatoes that have a burst of flavor in every bite. Perfectly ripe and wonderfully flavored tomatoes are the key to this dish, so try to find some locally grown ones from your grocery store or farmers market. A blend of different types is what I used, which made the dish that much more complex. This summer dish uses the tomato juices, olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan as the sauce. I also have squash blossoms galore in the garden as my yellow squash, zucchini and pumpkins are coming to fruition. You may also find these at the farmers markets but if you can't find the delicate flowers the dish will be fabulous without them. Give yourself 20 minutes and this dish will be on the table and ready to enjoy.
-6 ounces whole wheat spaghetti or angel hair pasta
-1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
-3 Tbsp olive oil
-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
-1/2 bell pepper, diced (I use a small purple beauty bell pepper, red would work)
-salt and pepper
-1/2 cup pasta water reserved
-1 tsp fresh oregano
-1/2 cup squash blossoms, stems and stamens removed
-4 Tbsp parmesan cheese
First, halve your 1/2 pint tomatoes, dice 1/2 red bell pepper (mine is purple and green in the pictures below), and thinly slice 2 garlic cloves.
Next, remove the stems and stamens (inner yellow pollenated tubular piece) from the 1/2 cup squash blossoms and rinse. Set the squash blossoms aside. Next, put the tomatoes, bell pepper, and garlic slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 Tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss so the tomatoes are evenly coated in the oil.
Roast the tomato mixtures at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes are wilted and soft but the garlic isn't burnt.
While the tomatoes are roasting boil the whole wheat pasta according to package directions. Before you strain the pasta dip a coffee mug into the pot and scoop out some of the starchy pasta water. I do this EVERY time I make pasta in case my pasta sauce is too thick or needs some more liquid. It's a trick I learned long ago.
Return the drained pasta to the warm pot. Scoop the tomatoes with oil and juices into the pot with the pasta. Add 1/2 cup warm pasta water, 1/2 cup squash blossoms, 4 Tbsp parmesan cheese and fresh oregano (or dried). Toss and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy!