How to Make Pasta this Summer

Even though it's summer and we're all supposed to be eating like birds so we look good in dresses and bathing suits... pasta. Just pasta. It's so good once in a while. 

I am so happy to have the Green City Market at my finger tips again. Being in San Francisco you'd have thought the markets would have stolen my heart. Not so. The weekend martkets in the city (near where I lived) were so crowded it made me hate it. Now, GCM is insanely crowded as well, but I still love it. The mushroom guys. Grilling cheese. Bennison's croissants. And so much fresh produce this time of year.

That's what takes me to the fresh summer bolognese. I got a beautiful pint of cherry tomatoes that I wanted to keep relatively fresh, but not put on a salad. This "fresh" version of Pasta Bolognese is an idea I spotted on Saveur last week. I've modified a bit based on what I had on hand, but I just loved the idea. Cheers to many more summer pastas!

Fresh Summer Bolognese
makes 4-6 servings

1 lb. lean ground beef (80/20 or 85/15)
2 shallots (minced)
5 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cpu dry white wine
2 tbsp capers
1 lemon (juice)
1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved, all colors)
1/2 lb. casarecce (or your favorite noodle)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
fresh basil or parsley
salt and pepper
olive oil

Get the pasta water heating, and add a ton of salt to the water once boiling. Add pasta and cook according to package. When cooked, reserve 1 cup of the water before draining. 

Start with the ground beef to get it browned up as the pasta water is coming up to a boil. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, shallots, garlic, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Cook until beef has browned, about 7 minutes. 

Now add in tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes. Add white wine and capers, and let wine cook until almost completely cooked down, about 5 minutes. 

Finally, add in the lemon juice and halved tomatoes, with some more salt and pepper. Let the tomatoes cook for 4-5 minutes. 

Add the pasta directly to the sauce, and add about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. If you'd like the sauce thinner, add water until it suits your taste. Add the grated Parmesan to the top and toss everything together. If you have some fresh herbs this time of year, add them as well!

We enjoyed this delicious pasta on our patio, with a glass of crisp white wine. 

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