Sungold tomato pasta with zucchini, kalamatas, feta and basil

sungold penne edited (1 of 1)

When the weekend’s greenmarket haul includes the sweetest cherry tomatoes, summer squash, fresh basil, sweet corn and locally made goat’s feta — naturally the only option is to create a pasta dish that brings all of these goodies together in one big bowl of summery deliciousness.

I first met the sungold variety of cherry tomatoes a few summers ago, and it instantly eclipsed all other little tomatoes in my mind. Unbelievably juicy and sweet but with a nice acidity, sungolds are delicious raw and also make a wonderful quick tomato sauce.

The sauce for this pasta dish is really just a quick veggie saute. The tomatoes break down within minutes creating a chunky, saucy texture, with a perfect balance of sweet and spicy, salty and briny from the olives, and satisfying, almost meaty texture from the tender chunks of zucchini .

I add the pasta (cooked al dente) and a splash of pasta cooking water to the sauce and let everything simmer for a minute to allow the flavors to come together. The saucy vegetable mixture coata the pasta in the most wonderful way, and all that’s needed is a drizzle of olive oil to finish — though I can’t help going slightly overboard by adding some crumbled feta, fresh basil and a sprinkling of my Viva Gomasio.

It would be only a slight exaggeration to say that I could happily eat this dish every day right through the end of summer (or when sungold season ends, whichever comes first). And it’s a perfect weeknight meal, since the sauce comes together in the time it takes to boil the pasta.

For the pasta component I used an einkorn penne that I really like, which is made by Jovial Foods. Einkorn is an ancient wheat variety, and some believe it is easier to digest than modern, hybrid varieties of wheat. These days I mostly use einkorn pasta or brown rice pasta (also by Jovial) if I want to go gluten-free.

Sungold tomato pasta with zucchini, feta, kalamatas and basil

Serves 4 to 6

12 ounces dried pasta of your choice (I used Jovial Foods’ einkorn penne)

sea salt

extra virgin olive oil, as needed

1 garlic clove, sliced

1 medium zucchini, diced

kernels from 1 ear of sweet corn (about 1 cup)

2 cups cherry tomatoes (sungolds are my favorite), halved

1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes

crumbled feta (optional)

roughly torn fresh basil leaves

Viva Gomasio, to finish

—–

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, add pasta and stir. Set a timer for a couple of minutes less than the package directions.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add zucchini and cook until it starts to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add corn and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes, olives, a pinch of salt, and chili flakes. Cook until tomatoes break down, about 5 minutes more.

Transfer pasta to skillet with tomato mixture along with about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, until pasta is cooked to your liking. Drizzle with a little  more olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Transfer pasta to serving dishes and add feta, basil, and gomasio. Serve immediately.

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