~ Linguine, Cherry Tomatoes, Breadcrumb Gremolata ~
The end of summer signifies many things: Labor Day BBQ’s, back to school excitement, cooling temperatures – and lots of cherry tomatoes. Our tomato plants have chugged along this summer in a cooler-than-usual climate, and suddenly seem to have picked up steam in a last minute hurrah to the end of summer. Our bushes are heavy with red and yellow cherry tomatoes, begging to be picked. We oblige and pop them in our mouths (the best way to eat a ripe cherry tomato is straight up, warm from the vine – nature’s candy at its best). However, there are only so many that can be munched on in a day or scattered over a salad. It’s time to get creative with our bounty, and so I have a recipe, or two, for you that I will share this week. The first is this light and simple dinner that may be thrown together in less than 30 minutes.
Linguine with Cherry Tomatoes and Breadcrumb Gremolata
For the Breadcrumb Gremolata:
1/2 cup breadcrumbs or panko
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley and/or basil
2 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Toast the breadcrumbs in a dry skillet until light golden. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
For the pasta:
1 pound linguine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling bowl. Add linguine and cook until al dente; drain. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to break down, but don’t completely dissolve, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Add linguine to skillet and toss to coat. Divide among serving plates and sprinkle with the gremolata. Serve immediately.