But the thought of red sauce is always close. The tomato vines of my mind grow toward a holy grail in the form of a boiling pot of pasta. And I almost always oblige them.
But I’m not extreme. I can be persuaded to try something new, especially when basil and nuts are involved, pesto being a distant second to the beloved tomato sauce. But what about bringing these flavors together? Not in a contrived concoction but in a hearty melange of cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, toasted almonds, and olive oil?
I discovered Pesto alla Anna last summer in GQ magazine (July ’08). I’ll send you to Liz’s Cooking Blog for the recipe. A couple of notes: Al dente means al dente. The cooked pasta moves to a large bowl in which a wonderful orange-colored sauce awaits a late summer rendezvous. That means the pasta’s going to absorb more liquid—which means don’t even come close to overcooking it! One more thing: I’ve made this with various pastas (spaghetti, penne, rotini). It works. Try it.
So think about grasping a little more summer flavor in the form of the cherry tomato. Whether you have a surplus of them yourself, are buying them at your nearby farmer’s market, or are enjoying the largess of coworkers who garden, transforming cherry tomatoes into Pesto alla Anna is the perfect start down a path of new pasta possibilities. (And, yeah, I’ll try to be more open, too.)