Its crunch time around here. T minus 10 days until the movers arrive and whisk off all of our belongings (eek!). Books and baking supplies have already been packed and we're trying hard to use up all the odds and ends in the pantry (I'm thinking rice paper rolls may be in our near future).
Its also been mega hot around here, so we've been trying really hard not to use the oven. This basically means everything either gets eaten raw, or barbecued. If you've never barbecued a tomato, you're seriously missing out. Perfect as a simple side dish, or chopped up in salads, its become our go-to as of late. It helps that the Ontario tomatoes are looking so darn sexy at the market. Call this pasta salad, or packing fuel, but either way, I'm totally having seconds.
GRILLED TOMATO PASTA SALAD // serves 4-6
Heat barbecue to medium-high.
6 large tomatoes, halved
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 T balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic
half a pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
3 cups raw pasta
What to do:
In a square glass dish, toss the tomato halves with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic cloves (skin on) in a small tin foil bundle with a drizzle of olive oil.
Transfer the tomatoes and garlic pouch to the grill, and barbecue 3-5 minutes each side, until charred and softened. Place the tomatoes back in the glass dish to soak up the leftover oil and vinegar.
Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, chop each half into 6 pieces (the skins should fall right off, discard, or keep - up to you). Transfer the chopped tomatoes and all their juices back into the glass dish. Add the garlic (squeezed out of their skins) and basil to the tomato mixture. Allow the flavours to mingle while you cook your pasta.
Once your pasta is ready, transfer it to a large bowl. Using a slotted spoon (or your hands), add only the tomato chunks and basil to the pasta, leaving the liquid behind. Add the grape tomatoes and toss everything to combine. Gradually add spoonfuls of the tomato juices until pasta is evenly coated but not too saucy.
Serve warm, or room temperature, with the extra sauce on the side.