Summer Tomato and Basil Pasta
August 3, 2020
We tossed freshly picked tomatoes and sweet basil in an olive-lemon marinade and served over cooked pasta for a light summery meal.
These two garden favorites pack a powerful nutritional punch. Both bring many health benefits, including high amounts of antioxidants, especially lycopene found in tomatoes, that help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Served with the healthier choice of whole grain pasta, a serving has less calories and carbohydrates and higher fiber than the refined and enriched white pasta. Mushrooms make a great complement to the dish with extra protein and fiber, plus its B vitamins and antioxidant selenium help support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues.
We used the classic Big Boy variety tomatoes, but you can choose your favorites, such as cherry tomatoes or Roma tomatoes, as long as they are at their peak of freshness.
Note: In case of leftovers, this dish tastes great as a cold salad, or reheated slightly in a skillet.
Preparation Time: 20-30 minutes
- 8 oz spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine, preferably whole grain
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1-2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms, white or cremini
- 1 Tablespoon capers, optional
- 3-4 anchovy filets, optional
- 1 and ½1 lb. fresh tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)
- Juice of one lemon, about 2-3 Tablespoons
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- ¼ cup kalamata or green olives, sliced in half
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional for topping
- Heat large skillet to medium high. Add olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, mushrooms, (capers and anchovies if preferred) and sauté for about two minutes, just enough to enhance garlic flavor and soften mushrooms a bit. Do not overcook. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- In medium bowl, combine sautéed ingredients with tomatoes, lemon juice, basil, olives, and black pepper. Set mixture aside to marinate.
- Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Cook to al dente and drain.
- Immediately, while still hot, place pasta in large serving bowl, add tomato marinade mixture and toss.
- Serve with parmesan cheese. If desired, sprinkle with more chopped basil and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.
Makes four servings.
Per serving using whole wheat spaghetti: 410.2 calories; 23.6g total fat (3.1g saturated, 2.4g polyunsaturated, 15.6g monounsaturated); 194.2mg sodium; 0.0mg cholesterol; 39.6g carbohydrate; 5.5g fiber; 5.1g sugars; 9.5g protein; 298.8mg potassium.