Heirloom Tomato Pasta with Chevre and Mint
Tomato season in New England does not last long, and I, for one, and going to indulge as much as humanly possible. We had a bruschetta last week, and this week, we have a pasta dish. Heirloom Tomato Pasta with Chevre and Mint comes from an article I clipped long ago from the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine that I cannot find in a secure format (this link is not secure, but you’ll find Adam Ried’s original recipe there).
Over the years, I tweaked the simple recipe, in true back-pocket recipe fashion. I use less shallots and mint and a bit more pepper, but the general idea remains the same. Every year, I eagerly anticipate heirloom tomato season to make this dish. It never disappoints. I made it for my parents this week, and they loved it, too.
The parent of Comfort Pasta
You might remember Comfort Pasta from last year (I used to feel a bit bad about this dish, but then I learned that Food 52 has a similar recipe). Well, I got the idea for Comfort Pasta from making Heirloom Tomato Pasta with Chevre and Mint, only I was making Comfort Pasta in the depths of winter instead of high summer.
It’s the same idea, though. Mix ingredients in a bowl, and add loosely drained pasta (you want some of that pasta water). The heat from the pasta will melt the cheese and create a silky sauce. Definitely a cut above pasta with pantry staples.
Heirloom Tomato Pasta with Chevre and Mint is ready in as much time as it takes to cook the pasta, and it tastes like you worked for hours. It’s a clever trick for a summer dinner party.
Seed your tomatoes and taste as you go
The only “hard” part is not that hard at all. You do need to seed your tomatoes, and you don’t want ones with a really thick skin, as we’re not peeling them. I like to take the jelly and spread it on some bread with a little olive oil and some salt.
Make sure to taste as you go, especially with the lemon juice. Give your tomatoes a taste after chopping them. If they’re really sweet, you might want a little more lemon. Tart, you might want a tad less. Same goes for the shallots and the mint. Don’t skip the black pepper, as it plays a key balancing role, but, by all means, use it to taste. I usually add a little more to serve.
Take heirloom tomato pasta in a different direction
Think mint sounds weird? It is a bit strange, but it’s delicious, I assure you. I use less than the original recipe calls for, and it surprises instead of shouts. If you want to take it in a different direction, this recipe certainly lends itself to experimentation. Try basil, oregano, or even parsley. I have, and it’s always good, but the mint remains my favorite. To me, it captures summer’s ephemeral moment in a way that the others do not.
Scale Heirloom Tomato Pasta with Chevre and Mint up or down
In the demo, I made this for my parents (we had some leftovers, which were surprisingly good the next day, but I don’t recommend making more than you need). However, when making this for myself, I usually do one roma style heirloom tomato and a half of a Brandywine or other heirloom, less if the tomato is huge and then kind of eyeball the rest, tasting as I go.
Make Heirloom Tomato Pasta with Chevre and Mint your own, and I hope you’ll look as forward to making it each summer as I do! Let me know in the comments when you make it and what you think!
Looking for recipes without all the jibber jabber?
The Wonder & Sundry Recipe Box has every recipe from the blog, as well as bonus recipes, all in one place and sorted by course. There’s a Summer Recipe Roundup section, so you can find every summer recipe easily, including this one.
Subscribe today for access! It’s FREE and comes with loads more Wonders & Sundries!
Heirloom Tomato Pasta with Chevre and Mint
- 2.5 lbs heirloom tomatoes, cored, seeded, and roughly chopped try for a mix of tomatoes, including roma style tomatoes, which will give you more useable flesh
- 1-1.5 tbsps shallots, finely chopped add a little at a time and taste as you go. Depending on your
- 1 small lemon, zested. Juice half of it taste the tomatoes before adding the juice and adjust as needed
- 4 oz fresh chevre, in chunks
- 2 tbsp mint leaves, chopped to taste
- ¼ cup olive oil use a little less if your tomatoes are really juicy, but don't omit all together
- kosher salt
- black pepper, coarsely ground or cracked to taste, but be generous with this, as it's a key component
- ¾ lb Cavatappi or other similar nubby pasta, cooked in salted water until al dente, loosely drained
- Put pasta water on the stove to boil
- While the pasta water is coming to a boil , combine all ingredients, except the pasta in a bowl large enough to hold the pasta when cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning as required. The flavors will blend some, but not much as you cook the pasta. Set aside
- Cook the pasta in well-salted water until al dente. Drain loosely (you want some of that pasta water, but not too much)
- Add the cooked pasta to the bowl. Use tongs or a large spoon to blend the sauce with the pasta. The heat from the pasta will melt the chevre, and form a lovely sauce
- Serve garnished with a mint leaf and a little more pepper