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In a few weeks, I’ll get around to turning the season’s abundance into late-season tomato sauce and slow-roasted tomatoes, as well as pesto, but right now, I still want supper to taste like the garden. That’s why you’ll find scalloped tomatoes in my current culinary rotation, as well as the pasta below, a keeper from my days at Gourmet. It’s based on a recipe from the Antica Fattoria del Colle, an agriturismo near Deruta, in Umbria. Sam and I have been spending lots of time rusticating in an old farmhouse on the North Fork of Long Island, and the simplicity of the dish suits life there to a T. We carry our pasta bowls out to a rickety little table on the porch, where we sit and watch the sun settle itself for the night.

One of the great pleasures of the recipe, by the way, is that depending on the type and mix of tomatoes you use, it always tastes different; this is a real boon if you eat it all the time, like we’ve been doing.

A note on peeling tomatoes: With a sharp paring knife, cut an X just through the skin in the bottom of each tomato (don’t cut deeply into the flesh). Working with a few tomatoes at a time, you can blanch them about 10 seconds in a pot of boiling water, then transfer them with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to cool. Or you can do as I do and simply pour boiling water from the kettle over them and let them sit for the requisite amount of time. Either way, with a little help from your knife, the skins should come right off.

A note on the pasta: The very thin dried egg fettuccine made by DeCecco is especially good here; it’s available at most supermarkets. A more luxurious option is Cipriani tagliarelle, which you’ll find at fancy food shops and online sources, including Cipriani and Amazon.

Pasta with Tomato and Basil

From The Gourmet Cookbook: More Than 1000 Recipes (Houghton Mifflin, 2004)

Makes about 5 cups

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2½ pounds ripe tomatoes (5 medium) peeled and coarsely chopped

2 large basic branches, plus 1 1/3 cups packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

½ teaspoon coarse salt

Freshly ground black pepper

¾ pound good dried egg fettuccine or other long pasta

Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat oil in a 6-quart pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, basil branches, salt, and pepper to taste, bring to a simmer, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook fettuccine in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente; drain.

Remove the basil branches from sauce and stir in chopped basil. Toss fettuccine with sauce in a bowl. Serve with grated cheese.

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