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Here in the northeast gardens and farm stands are at their peaks—meaty tomatoes, plump string beans, juicy red onions, aromatic basil. We just stare at the vegetables and they tell us what to do. Here’s how we made today’s summer pasta lunch: Sauté a sliced red onion and a minced clove of garlic in good olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add a big handful of blanched, trimmed string beans and a chopped, peeled big ripe tomato (we scoop out the seeds, but you don’t have to). Season with salt and pepper. Cook until everything is just hot, about 5 minutes. Add about 2 cups of cooked pasta (we used campanelle). Toss everything together and a little more olive oil wouldn’t hurt. Transfer to a platter and add some torn fresh basil leaves.

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