Penne with Cherry Tomatoes and Zucchini Blossoms
When you have the best ingredients of the season on hand, in this case, ripe summer cherry tomatoes and zucchini blossoms, you really don't want to mess with them too much. And especially in the summer, nobody wants to have their stove or oven going if they can avoid it, and if it's really necessary to turn it on, only ever so briefly. That was the thinking behind this recipe, and minimizing the cooking time preserves the natural flavor of the tomatoes as much as possible.
The sauce will be thin but flavorful; make sure to use a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil because its flavor will really come through, and to use good-quality pasta with a coarse texture that will really absorb the sauce — look for pastas made with a bronze die.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 Pound penne
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 Cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 8 zucchini blossoms, stemmed
- Handful of basil leaves
- Handful of mint leaves
Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the cherry tomatoes and ¼ cup of the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and process until nearly blended but some chunks remain. Set aside.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium-sized saucepot over low heat. Add the garlic, and when it begins to sizzle, add the zucchini blossoms. Cook until just barely wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Then, add the tomatoes and heat through until just warm, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the basil and mint and toss with the pasta. Serve immediately.