Pasta with Heirloom Tomatoes and Herb Vinaigrette

posted in: Main Dish, Pasta        date:

Pasta with Heirloom Tomatoes and Herb Vinaigrette

Every summer has a meal that we make over and over again. This chicken with tomato herb pan sauce was the reigning champion (ha!) for a long time. Earlier this summer, we were obsessed with these pork chops. However, I should’ve known something with tomatoes would become the meal of summer for us. Did you expect any different?

There’s something so perfectly summery about this pasta – the bursting tomatoes, herbs fresh from our garden, plenty of arugula. This pasta has been to us this summer what chicken pot pie is to us in the winter. It’s light and fresh, with tangles of arugula and parsley tossed with pasta and creamy goat cheese. It also requires very little cooking, totally appropriate for insanely hot days. The recipe called for country ham, but I went with prosciutto because I simply can’t resist it paired with goat cheese.

We’ve got an abundance of Sungold tomatoes growing in our garden right now, so I don’t see us taking this off the meal plan anytime soon. This recipe is especially perfect for Clara who prefers her tomatoes raw (and would rather eat them all off the vine instead of bringing them inside, anyway).

Pasta with Heirloom Tomatoes and Herb Vinaigrette

  • YIELD: 8 servings
  • For the herb vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 4 small garlic cloves

  • ½ cup canola oil

  • 12 fresh basil leaves

  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the pasta:

  • 12 ounces cavatappi pasta
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 1½ pounds heirloom tomatoes, chopped if large, halved or left whole if small
  • 4 cups loosely packed arugula
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

This pasta, with all the arugula, doesn’t reheat all that well. You can easily halve the recipe, but I still recommend making the full amount of the vinaigrette. Whatever you have leftover can easily double as salad dressing or sandwich spread (think killer BLTs). It keeps well in the fridge for several days.

  • 1

    Start by making the herb vinaigrette. Combine vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic cloves in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the oil, processing until blended. Add basil leaves and parsley leaves, and process until smooth. Add Parmesan cheese; pulse to combine. Stir in kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. You can also do all this in a 2-cup measuring cup using an immersion blender.

  • 2

    Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions until it is al dente. Drain, then place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil.

    While the pasta is boiling, cook the prosciutto in a small skillet set over medium-high heat. Once crispy, remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain, then break into pieces.

  • 3

    Add the tomatoes, arugula, basil, parsley, red pepper flakes and 6 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to the pasta. Toss gently to coat. Sprinkle in goat cheese and prosciutto and gently toss again. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Drizzle each serving with additional vinaigrette if desired. Serve immediately.

  • Southern Living, July 2015