simple is true…and involves a tomato or two ::::
Sometimes just a few simple ingredients can still give a dish depth.
Except when your kids eat all of the tomatoes, leaving you with not simple but parsimony.
This summer, Peach and Grub were crazy about our tomatoes. They would squeal for the chance to pluck a few of the ripe cherry tomatoes bursting from our plant in the backyard. There were the yellow teardrop tomatoes planted close to the laundry room of our apartment complex for all tenants to enjoy, often picked and eaten on the run by the kids. And I still managed to get a few donated from friends and strangers that were slow roasted and eaten promptly in salads, over black beans, or just plain. I’m just as crazy about the tomatoes as the kids, only I manage to keep most of the seeds in my mouth.
I planned to make this dish long ago, when the tomatoes were more prolific in the garden, but the kids (not even the snails!) ravaged those plants so often that I never had enough to fill out a few swaths of pasta. I’m not stingy with sharing tomatoes, but sometimes I’d like to have a few to myself. I can’t say I’m that disappointed. I’m happy that Peach and Grub are actually eating vegetables willingly. That is a huge accomplishment in this house, nothing that I had anything to do with promoting except for promulgating picking their own snack from the plant. It’s all about independence with these kids — I’d rather it be gathering food than scribbling all over the living room wall with a black marker or putting sparkly princess necklaces on the cat.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 to 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (I like my dish more tomato heavy)
- ⅓ to ½ cup chopped dill, depending on the amount of tomatoes you use
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- ½ pound cavatappi pasta, or similar, uncooked
- ¾ cup crumbled feta (3 ounces)
- ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper, plus more for water to boil pasta
- Toss together oil, tomatoes, dill, zest, and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large serving bowl. Let stand at least ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (1½ tablespoons salt for 4 quarts water) until al dente.
- Drain pasta and toss with tomato mixture. Add feta and toss again.
- Serve at warm or at room temperature.