We’re deep into the dog days of summer, but I can already feel subtle changes – cooler evenings, a change in the intensity of sunlight, yellowed tips of grass. There’s the more obvious ones, too – namely that the geese are flying south and have been for the past 2 weeks, the earliest ever. Robins are long gone and sparrows are gorging on wild grass seeds. I think they all know something we don’t.
As much as I’d like to pretend that we’re entering a glorious golden fall like other places in the world, I know that we can have snow in less than 4 weeks. I sometimes forget how close we are to the mountains and our fate every year. We’ll soon switch to stews, roasts and squash dishes, and inevitably start dreaming up ways to get out of here, so let’s make summer last just a bit longer:
Linguine noodles, ricotta, green beans, sweet basil, and fresh chopped tomatoes. The vegetables are the peak of their season – eat up! It’s all begging to be taken outside in the sun, in good company, then washed down with some white wine.
Why don’t we do just that?
- 1 small head of garlic
- 500g linguine noodles
- 2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
- approx 2-3 cups sweet grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 cups loosely packed trimmed and cooked green beans, sliced into 1 inch pieces
- handful of basil, torn
- 4 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- (Edit: the roasted garlic is completely optional - but obviously enhances the taste - don't worry, it will completely mellow out once roasted. Why not roast the whole head and start with a couple cloves first to see what suits you? :P)
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Place one unpeeled head of garlic inside the oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until the top is browned. Remove and set aside to cool for a moment. Pour the olive oil into a small cup. Using a small sharp knife, cut the top of a couple of cloves and pop them onto a slicing board. Using the side blade of same knife, gently mash the garlic until it forms a paste. Add to the oil and mix.
- Cook the linguine to al-dente and drain reserving ¼ cup of the boiled water. Transfer to a large bowl, add the water and toss gently so the the pasta doesn't become sticky. Add the ricotta and olive oil mixture, then gently combine again so that it coats the linguine. Add the beans and tomatoes, tossing gently.
- Garnish with torn basil leaves, salt and pepper.