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Summer tomato sauce

August 6, 2008

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Makes enough for 1 pound of pasta

A ripe August tomato can be good enough to bite into like an apple. On steamy hot days, tomatoes go with mayonnaise to make toasted bread sandwiches, with mozzarella in salads, or with cucumbers in cold satisfying soups. Equally good are tomatoes barely cooked in olive oil with garlic and fresh basil, which releases the sweet juices and concentrates that rich summer taste. This sauce demands ripe tomatoes because they simmer only five minutes in the pan, before being tossed with hot pasta or spooned over grilled bread. Add more fragrant basil and grated hard cheese.

4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 medium ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large skillet heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until it is beginning to soften but not brown.

2. Add the tomatoes, half of the basil, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are barely cooked.

3. Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining basil and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss with hot pasta or spoon over grilled crusty bread. Jonathan Levitt