when i’m away September 17, 2012

Another whirlwind month. Location after location. A quick jaunt for a lakehouse weekend where I convinced people to like okra. Working on Sundays making pretty pictures. A last hurrah summer cook-out that set my heart a-flutter. Gearing up for more travel this week. I love the work I’m doing right now and the outlook for the next many months. When I’m away – and away from this blog – I’m missing being here. At home and with you. You can keep up with me, though. I’m enthusiastically sharing on Instagram  – my user name is runwithtweezers. I’m also rabidly sharing things that inspire me on Pinterest. When the site is down, it’s likely because of my compulsive pinning. I’m sorry and you’re welcome.

These days, when I’m working hard or about to be away, I want something simple. For the past couple weeks, this has meant tomatoes.

Maybe part of me feels, as much as I’m ready for overcast days and the changing of the leaves, that I’ve worked my way through the summer and missed out on many of the things I love about it. While at the time, I was overjoyed to be indoors during the oppressive Atlanta heat…I think part of me isn’t ready to let this summer go. Normally this time of year, I’m yearning for soups and winter squashes and tights weather. Right now, though, my heart’s holding on to the past month or so…and it is manifesting itself in plates of tomatoes with herbs and a bit of crunchy salt. Veggie-heavy sandwiches with roasted garlic mayo. A weekly Caprese salad.

This pasta is all the things I’m trying to hold onto about summer – colorful, ripe tomatoes. Adorable little zucchinis from a shoot of mine. Lightly dressed pasta cracking with garlic and fresh herbs. Use what you have on hand and add cheese – a sprinkle of feta or some ricotta salata – if the occasion warrants. This is meant to be simple and lovely in how unfussy it is.

Zucchini & Tomato Pasta – serves 2 as an entree or 4 as a small pasta course

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) of cherry or grape tomatoes – I love the varied color of these heirlooms but whatever kind you have are fine
  • 8  baby zucchinis – substitute one medium zucchini if you don’t have these little guys
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • zest and juice of one large lemon
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • leaves of 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • a large pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces dried capellini pasta (half of a standard box)

– Cut each tomato in half and place in a large mixing bowl – you want plenty of room to toss the ingredients together when it is time. Slice the baby zucchini into 1/4″ slices on the bias and add to the bowl. If you’re substituting with a full size zucchini, cut it lengthwise and then into half moon slices. To the bowl, add the minced garlic, lemon juice and zest. Sprinkle over the thyme. Mix it all together. Drizzle over the olive oil and stir again to get everything coated. Season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper and give it one last stir. Set this aside to mingle while the pasta is cooking.

– Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt liberally – this dish is so simple, you’re really depending on building flavors at each step to make it tasty. Add in your pasta and give it a stir. Cook until al dente but no more than that – capellini overcooks easily. Drain the pasta but DO NOT RINSE – you’re wanting that leftover starch to help coat the pasta and warm through the sauce. Add the still hot pasta to the tomato mixture and, with a pair of tongs, combine it together. The warmth from the pasta will just barely warm the tomato and zucchini. Give it a taste and adjust with salt, pepper, lemon or a bit more oil – this is all to your liking. Serve immediately.


Eileen Sep 17, 2012 02:09 pm

TOMATOES! I think with real tomatoes it’s best to go simple–and this pasta is a perfect illustration! Hooray!

Lynn Sep 17, 2012 06:09 pm

That looks so good! I haven’t quite embraced pinterest yet – maybe soon. :)

Paula - bell'alimento Sep 17, 2012 08:09 pm

I love simple summer pastas. So satisfying!

marla Sep 18, 2012 09:09 am

Such a beautiful and vibrant pasta dish Tami!

susan Sep 18, 2012 10:09 am

I have been so wanting to create the last bits of summer in a bowl – and this is just the dish. Beautiful photos, Tami and if I could, I would dive right into my computer as I write this!

sarah {edible living} Sep 18, 2012 10:09 am

love anything pasta + zucchini + tomatoes. this is fresh and lovely, as always. Enjoy your travels and I’ll look for you on pinterest!

Christy @ My Invisible Crown Sep 19, 2012 06:09 pm

I registered for the Mixed Conf and saw you were speaking. It’ll be my first and I’m really pumped. Just wanted to stop by and say hi!

ciaochowlinda Sep 21, 2012 09:09 am

The colors of this dish are stunning – and the flavors must be great too.

Lori Lynn Sep 21, 2012 10:09 am

simple. bright. lovely.
looks delicious.
following you on pinterest now.


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Katy Lawrence@androidvoip.org Oct 20, 2012 12:10 pm

These are so delicious, home made pasta is tastefully great, mostly I prefer packed pasta because I’m not very much kitchen girl.

I just wish that those image turns real and I can eat them, Lol.

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Artisanal Olive Oil Nov 19, 2012 09:11 pm

That looks tasty and simple. Two of my favorite cooking adjectives!

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E Tarif Aug 30, 2013 10:08 am

These pictures made me feel hungry already. I like tomatoes and thyme. I am sure that it will taste great.

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