Thursday, August 11, 2011

Les tomates

I am a townhouse dwelling city slicker.  No garden except for some herbs and lavender growing in my little patch at the side of our home.  BUT I have farmer friends!  Farmer friends who have supplied me with lovely tomatoes this summer.  GB, BC, and KS.  I love these guys.   I feel kind of like they are my dealers.  I also occasionally score okra, peppers, cucumbers, and garlic.
I love this stuff.  And the smell.  Oh là là.  The grocery store stuff doesn't smell until you smash, grate or chop it.  But these little babies smell just the way garlic should.  KS evidently has a bumper crop this year.  A good year for the garlic crop.  He is the one who gave me the tomatoes with a note to work some magic with them.  Well, I have to confess that I worked my kind of magic with the big tomato... I sliced it up and had a big juicy tomato sandwich for lunch.  I took no photos.  I ate it way too fast.  Juice was dripping down my chin and I was making little groaning noises.  Luckily, I was home alone.  Except for the cats and Rusty groans all the time, too, so he didn't even notice.
I was all alone for dinner a couple of nights ago so I decided to make some pasta sauce all for myself.  The Ex-Ex isn't crazy about what he calls "hot tomatoes."  College-bound son always fusses if there are too many tomatoes in anything.  They love the little ones for snacking-- they just reach in the refrigerator and eat away.  So, while they were gone for the evening, I made penne pasta with popped tomato sauce.  I had quite a few little grape tomatoes, courtesy of GB and BC.
I threw them into my favorite pan with some olive oil and let them cook for about 10 minutes or so.  They started steaming and hissing.  I stirred them up once in a while.  I thinly sliced a medium-sized onion and diced up 3 or 4 cloves of the garlic while the tomatoes were cooking.  They started popping open and I also helped the process along with a wooden spoon.  After they'd cooked for the first 10 minutes, I added the onions and stirred in some salt and pepper, to taste, and some red pepper flakes, also to taste.  I then covered the pan and let them cook for about 5 more minutes.  I then uncovered the pan and added the garlic and a handful of pitted black olives and some black olive tapenade.  Once again, to taste.  Anchovy filets are also a nice addition, but I didn't have any on hand.
I really wish photos were scratch and sniff.  Wonder when someone will invent that for the computer or whatever device we will be using in 10 years...  This really smelled heavenly.  If you like hot tomatoes and garlic, that is.
I cooked the penne pasta al dente, grated some fresh parmesan and voilà!  A lovely dinner for moi.  Served up with a glass of my new friend Alain de Welle's Venus rosé-- parfaitVraiment délicieux.
I threw in La Tour Eiffel for effect, as I often do, and listened to the soundtrack to Something's Gotta Give and enjoyed my dinner tremendously.

Enjoy Louis yourself, if you wish, and dream of Paris...

A more precise version of this recipe, along with where I found it, can be found on this blog entry:

Bon appétit, my tomato dealers! Merci beaucoup!

No comments: