The calendar says it’s the first day of autumn. This is indisputable science. The equinox, those brief few days when the daylight and the dark are “equal,” will soon tilt (as the Earth’s axis does) to bring days of less sunlight and more darkness.
But wait! I’m not giving up that easily. The sun is warm on my face today and the temperature is approaching 70 degrees. I still have plenty of locally grown tomatoes on the counter. I’ve chopped them and added extra-virgin olive oil, garden basil, and garlic.
After this heady mixture macerates for a few hours, I’ll toss it with cooked, drained rotini. The aroma will be like an intoxicating distillation of summer. The taste will be like sweet-tart sunshine.
The calendar says it’s the first day of autumn but, in my kitchen, it’s summer.
|Rotini with Uncooked Tomato Basil Sauce|| |
- 4 large or 8 medium very ripe tomatoes (about 4 pounds), cored and chopped
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup torn fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pound dried rotini
- Ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, oil, basil, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir to mix. Set aside for several hours at room temperature.
- Set a covered large pot of water over high heat. When the water boils, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt and the rotini. Stir. Cover and return to the boil. Uncover and boil, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until al dente.
- Drain the rotini and return to the pot. Add the tomato mixture. Toss to mix. Set aside for for 5 minutes. Stir and serve.