What's a girl to do with 50 pounds of very ripe Early Girl tomatoes? After a canning adventure, I found myself asking that question. One could make any manner of gourmet things, from slow-cooked jam to a tomato tart. But knowing that off-the-vine tomatoes were on the cusp of withering away, I couldn't enjoy them with anything but the simplest, most unadulterated preparations.
For lunch, it was a classic Caprese salad. For a snack, tomato salsa with a blazing jalapeño kick. And for dinner, the pièce de résistance: an understated bowl of linguine with barely-cooked tomato sauce.
The tomato sauce fits the season perfectly. It has the dribbling juiciness of a raw tomato, but the heavier body of a classic pomodoro sauce. I drizzled the finished product with a fruity olive oil, and a sweet fragrance hung over every bite I savored. It was good enough to be dinner one night, then breakfast the next day. Do the same with your tomatoes when you get the recipe.
Salt 4 to 6 servings.
3-5 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1½ pounds tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 pound linguine or other long pasta
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves, if desired
Freshly grated parmesan, if desired
4 to 6 servings.