It’s that time of year when the crisp cool breeze that spring once brought has turned into a muggy, heavy, and hot air that comes with summer. I don’t know about your neck of the woods but in the great state of Kansas, summer has decided to show its colors early. Most days it already feels as if we are in the midst of August and not the beginning days of June. Isn’t it supposed to be relatively cool at this time of year?

Don’t get me wrong, I love summer and will find absolutely every excuse under the sun to be outside. In fact, the hotter the better, but I do find it the time where my body starts to back away from the heavy foods that I once relished in the winter time. I don’t want slow cooked braised meats (unless of course it’s smoked by my Dad 🙂 ), stews and soups are just too much, and heavy cream sauces aren’t particularly appealing to me either. I start to crave lighter fare like salads, marinated chicken cooked on the grill, and light pasta dishes because, let’s be serious I can’t live without pasta all summer long and you shouldn’t either.

So as I promised in my previous post, I want to show you a couple of different ways to use this Cherry Tomato Sauce from last weeks post. This sauce is a perfect way to lighten up pasta dishes that would usually weigh you down for days. I like to add the sauce to fettuccini or really any pasta for that matter; add some pasta water and cheese and presto – a great light summer pasta.

Other ways I love to use this versatile sauce is to top some of it on garlic rubbed crostini for a perfect small bite. Smother the sauce over some simply grilled chicken for another healthy and easy entree. You could even top some creamy polenta with the sauce and have a great side dish.  Hmm..that actually sounds recipe perhaps??

Add cooked fettuccini (recipe here) to sauce. Toss to coat. Reserve salty cooking liquid.

Sprinkle a handful of parmesan cheese in pasta. If the sauce is too thick add salted pasta water one ladle at a time until desired consitency is reached. Season with salt and pepper.

Another lovely way to consume: cherry tomato topped crostini. Toast crostini, while still warm rub with garlic. Top with cherry tomato sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Fettuccini with Cherry Tomato Sauce

1 batch cherry tomato sauce

1 pound fresh fettuccini

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/4 – 1/2 cup salted pasta water

salt & pepper

Cook fettuccini until al dente. Reserve cooking liquid.  Add cooked fettuccini to tomato sauce. Toss to coat. Add cheese.  If sauce is too thick add pasta water one ladle at a time until desired consistency is reached.  Season with salt and pepper.

Crostini with Cherry Tomatoes

1 batch of cherry tomato sauce

1 french baguette cut on a bias

2 garlic cloves.

Salt & pepper

Toast crostini in 350 degree oven for about five minutes or grill about 30 seconds on each side depending on heat of grill. While still warm rub each crostini with garlic.  Top with tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

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