Everyone I’ve talked to about their tomato harvest this year seems disappointed. So am I. I get a few beauties like the ones at the bottom of the page, but most are ugly, almost past their prime before they’re even ripened. But they still taste good. I have yet to taste any supermarket tomato, heirloom or other, that can compare with home grown, ugly or not.
So save the beauties for that mayonnaise and tomato sandwich, or just for eating plain with a little garlic salt. Here’s what to do with the pieces of the ugly-but-yummy variety.
This would feed more than 2 people, but leftovers are good even cold.
2 large lobster tails
1 pound spaghetti
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
2 cups chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper
2 handfuls basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped
If your lobster tails are frozen, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator.
In a large saute pan, cook the shallots and garlic in the oil on medium-low heat.
Using kitchen shears, slice the back of the lobster tail shell lengthwise.
Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook pasta, but place the tails on top of the water, watching constantly, to cook the meat inside enough so that you can pull it away from the shell. It’s an easy way to “steam” the lobster and adds some flavor to the pasta water.
Once the lobster meat looks white and more firm, remove the tails from the water and let them cool slightly. When cool enough to touch, cut the meat into half inch chunks and add to the saute pan which is on medium-low.
Add the tomatoes and warm slightly.
When the pasta is done, drain it and add the pasta to the saute pan, reserving some of the pasta water.
Season with salt & pepper (and chili flakes if you desire). Toss well and transfer to a warmed wide bowl or platter. Add basil, toss once more and serve immediately.
There are a number of great whites that would serve this meal well, but I have an odd favorite with it. Oenophiles, look away. Conundrum White Blend is super light, refreshing and inexpensive, and I’ve even served it over ice on occasion. A blend of Viognier, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, with the taste of pear, peach and melon. Perfect hot weather wine.