I like to cook (obviously) and most of the time, the stuff I make turns out pretty well. Granted, this doesn’t happen all the time. One time I attempted to make “Indian stuffed peppers” and they were completely inedible. It was a total waste of ingredients because, after attempting to choke down half a pepper, I threw out the second half along with the other five peppers I made. Even my husband, who usually manages to eat even the so-so meals, admitted they were terrible. So, yes, I definitely have some moments I am not proud of in the kitchen but, most of the time, I manage to turn out pretty decent meals. I feel like I have to defend myself and say that the Indian pepper catastrophe was fairly early on in my cooking “journey” and also let you all know that only the good stuff makes it onto this blog. I don’t post the bad recipes, or even the so-so ones. Maybe that goes without saying, but I’m feeling slightly self conscious after admitting that not everything I make turns out delicious, in case any of you were under that impression.
This is all to say, that even though I’ve had some kitchen mishaps, I’ve also had “wow” moments in the kitchen and creating this pasta with heirloom tomatoes and feta (and basil and pancetta) was definitely a wow moment for me. This is a recipe I’m really, really proud of. Sometimes after I make something, I think of all the things that could be improved upon for next time. Additional ingredients I would add, or ingredients I’d omit the next time I make the dish. I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe. I’ve been thinking about it all day and I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for dinner tonight. That’s how good it is. I felt that way about my brunch casserole with eggs, potatoes and bacon as well. There’s something extraordinarily satisfying about creating a dish that tastes this good. I’m proud of all my recipes on this blog, and they’re all special in their own right, but this one has to be one of my favorites.
Pasta with heirloom tomatoes and feta is also the perfect summer pasta dish. It’s beautiful, colorful and tasty and it highlights the amazing flavor of the tomatoes this season. It should really only be made when tomatoes are in season. I used Trader Joe’s spinach and chive linguine and heirloom cherry tomatoes in this recipe but if you can’t get either, you could use another good quality linguine and some ripe cherry tomatoes or even beef steak tomatoes or roma tomatoes, cut into small pieces. Just be sure they’re good tomatoes! This recipe is really about the quality of each ingredient. If the tomatoes aren’t in season, or the basil is wilting and drying out, or you don’t have good quality pasta, don’t make this dish. But if it’s summer and you’ve got access to the good stuff, make it, because it’s incredibly delicious!
Pasta with heirloom tomatoes and feta
1 lb. of spinach and chive linguine from Trader Joe’s (or other good quality pasta)
1 lb. of heirloom cherry tomatoes
1 shallot, sliced
8 oz of feta cheese, cubed
1⁄4 cup of olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
salt and pepper
4 oz diced pancetta
1⁄4 cup fresh basil
1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente,
about 6 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into quarters and add them to a bowl. Add the
shallot, feta, 1⁄4 cup of olive oil, salt and pepper and stir. Set to the side
3. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the pancetta. Stir until crisp.
Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel.
4. Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain it and transfer it back to the pot it
cooked in and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive or .
5. Toss the pasta, the tomato feta mixture and the pancetta together in a large
bowl and add the fresh basil and parmesan cheese. Toss again to combine. Serve in bowls with extra parmesan cheese on top.