Pasta with Tomato Concassé, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil.

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This is one of those classic pasta dishes that is great served hot or cold. It’s made with a few seasonal ingredients that when brought together create a sensational experience for your taste buds and say, “Summer”.
tomato-concasse

1 lb spaghetti of your choice (pictured is vegan and gluten-free brown rice pasta)
5 medium vine-ripened organic tomatoes
1 loosely packed cup of fresh basil leaves (no stems)
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons high quality balsamic vinegar
3 medium cloves of garlic (about one tablespoon minced)
pinch of white pepper
pinch of sea salt (optional)

1. Bring a large stock pot of water to boil (about 6 quarts) and then turn the heat OFF under the pot so that the water is no longer boiling.
2. Prepare an ice bath (a large bowl of cold water with about a cup of ice cubes floating in it).
3. Lightly (and gently) run a sharp knife edge over the tomatoes just enough to pierce the skin in several places, being careful not to cut into the flesh of the tomato.
4. With a slotted spoon gently place the tomatoes in the boiling hot water — BE CAREFUL NOT TO SPLASH YOURSELF WITH THE HOT WATER!!! Leave them in the boiling water for about a minute (you will see the skin begin to curl. DON’T COOK THE TOMATOES. Remove the tomatoes with the slotted spoon and immediately place in the ice bath to stop the cooking and to cool. Save the pot of hot water to cook the pasta.
5. Peel the tomatoes, cut them in half.
6. Seed the tomatoes: with one hand hold half of a tomato over a bowl and with the other using the point of a paring knife to scrape out and remove the seeds (you can also use your fingers) and let the seeds and the juice fall in to the bowl. Save the juice and seeds for another use or drink it – it’s delicious! Repeat this process with the remaining tomato halves.
7. Dice the tomatoes in small cubes. Place them in a large bowl, and set aside.
8. Chop the basil leaves, coarsely, not too fine, and add to the bowl of diced tomatoes.
9. Mince the garlic and add to the tomato/basil mixture.
10. Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to the tomato/basil/garlic mixture and toss. Let stand while you cook the pasta.
11. Using the same large pot of water, bring it back to a rolling boil. Cook the pasta per the instructions on the package. When the pasta is to your liking, drain and rinse quickly under cold water to stop the cooking, shake out all of the excess water and add the hot pasta to the tomato mixture, toss well and serve.

Serves 4

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