On Saturday morning we went for a long walk with Opie through Capitol View Park. It’s a lovely place, with tall, tall trees that shade it almost entirely, making it a cool, comfortable place to spend some time outdoors, even on blistering summer days. There’s a playground where Jay can run around and burn up some of that bubbling energy, and lots of cool, green grass where Opie can spread himself out with a tasty twig to chew.
Understandably, we end up spending too much time there and by the time we come home it’s usually at or past lunchtime. This time it was later than usual, and everyone had worked up quite an appetite. Let’s order pizza, said Desi, a suggestion enthusiastically endorsed by Jay. Me, the spoilsport, would have none of it. Because I had a recipe up my sleeve, found just that morning while flicking through Bon Appetit, that I knew I could put together in minutes. A recipe for a no-cook tomato sauce that I could easily adapt and I knew everyone would love — I daresay almost as much as pizza.
I put Jay to work, picking cherry tomatoes, green peppers, and some basil — a job he loves to do. When food comes from your own backyard it just tastes that much better. When your son helps you cook it up, it’s just that much more fun.
So we chopped up a big, red tomato, toasted some almonds, chopped up some basil and green peppers, and mixed up the delicious sauce in the food processor. Jay kept licking it and I had to hide it from him so we would have some left for the pasta. I halved what seemed like a million cherry tomatoes, and seasoned them with some salt and pepper, while the linguini fini cooked. Then all I had to do was mix everything up and lunch was ready before Desi could throw in the towel and grab the phone for some pizza.
The verdict, as we greedily forked up the linguini and slurped it up, was unanimous: delicious.
Linguini Fini with No Cook Tomato Sauce
- 1 16- oz package of linguini fini or linguini or spaghetti
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes halved, then placed in a bowl and sprinkled with some salt and ground black pepper
- 1 large zucchini grated
- 3/4 cup almonds toasted in the microwave for three minutes. Spread on a microwave-safe dish, zap for two minutes on high, then stir and zap for another minute.
- 1 cup basil leaves cut into ribbons
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large cloves of garlic chopped
- Cook the pasta in salted water per package directions until al dente.
- Place the almonds, large tomato, garlic, red pepper flakes, almonds and half the basil in a food processor and process into a coarse paste.
- In a large bowl, mix the pasta, almond-tomato paste, extra virgin olive oil, the remaining basil, zucchini, and the cherry tomatoes.
- Add more salt if needed and serve.