Normally I can take or leave pasta, but for some reason, I usually make an exception for spaghetti. I wanted to make a more seasonally appropriate stand in for the usual spaghetti with marinara, and this is what I came up with.
With absolutely BEAUTIFUL tomatoes and basil all over the place at the farmers markets right now, I wanted to make a pasta that would feature them prominently, and this simple dish definitely does. I drew inspiration from caprese salad, but left out the cheese to keep it light (and vegan). I’m sure, though, if you wanted to put some fresh mozzarella in here, it would be really good.
Mashing up garlic with salt is a technique I learned from a friend who makes the best salads I’ve ever had. Now it forms the base of pretty much any salad dressing I make. Here, I just add olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. That gets tossed with some cooked, drained whole wheat pasta and fresh tomatoes and basil making this a light, fresh dinner in under 20 minutes!
8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti (or whatever pasta you choose)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup basil, cut into thin ribbons
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
Boil the pasta as directed.
While the pasta is cooking, make the dressing: smash the salt and garlic into a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle. Combine with oil, balsamic, and a pinch or two of black pepper and whisk to make a dressing.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse it. Put in a large bowl and toss with the tomatoes, basil, and dressing to taste.