Whether they’re called for between two slices of bread in a turkey sandwich or alongside fresh mozzarella and basil, fresh tomatoes often appear raw in recipes. With the wide variety of canned tomatoes on grocery store shelves these days, people cook with fresh tomatoes much less frequently. However, something magical happens when tomatoes are cooked: their antioxidant levels increase. The added nutrients that heat causes tomatoes to produce are even more of a reason to add fresh tomatoes to your skillet. While canned tomatoes are convenient, well ripened, and usually tasty, they can’t quite compare to the fresh and aromatic taste that fresh tomatoes lend to a dish.
When combined with rich olive oil, fragrant green garlic, and bright lemon juice, the cherry tomatoes and red kale from this week’s Tucson CSA harvest create an incredible quick, easy, delicious pasta sauce.
The basis of this light spring pasta dish is whole wheat orecchiette, which translates to “little ears” in Italian (thanks Giada!). The wholesome nutty flavor of the whole wheat pasta compliments a light sauce made of fresh cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, lemon juice, and wilted kale. For some extra protein and a heartier texture, white cannellini beans are tossed into the sauce at the very end. Topped with your choice of freshly grated parmesan, nutritional yeast (don’t knock it ‘til you try it), or ribbons of fresh basil, this Fresh Tomato and White Bean Orecchiette will leave you wanting more.
Shelby Thompson is a recent graduate of the University of Arizona. When she isn’t working her day job, Shelby can be found practicing in the yoga studio, playing ball with her black lab Cola, and cooking in the kitchen. Her blog, thesunandthespoon.com, aims to provide nutritious, plant-based recipes for fellow food lovers. She greatly enjoys the wide array of local food and talent in Tucson.