Tomato Basil Gorgonzola Shells

Ripe, homegrown tomatoes: enough said. Basil snipped from a garden box, a chunk of gorgonzola, a minced shallot. It’s tough to find a summer pasta recipe that tastes better than this one. This was the first pasta–maybe the first dish–I learned how to cook when I was living on my own, and I’ve been cooking it every summer for the past 20 years.

I grew up with a baking mother. Flour was sifted, ingredients were measured precisely with spoons and cups, dry ingredients were separated from creamed butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. This recipe marked my entry into cooking. The coworker who told it to me said, “Add a little butter to the olive oil if it tastes better. If you’re drinking some white wine while you’re cooking, pour some of that in. If you don’t have a shallot, mince an extra garlic clove.”

This wasn’t baking. This was cooking. So, if you’re drinking some white wine while you’re making it, pour some into the skillet.

serves 6

medium shell pasta

1 clove minced garlic

1 minced shallot

olive oil

2 cups of chopped tomatoes (any variety)

1 bunch basil

salt and pepper

gorgonzola cheese

Cook shell pasta until al dente. Sautee minced garlic and shallot in olive oil. Add tomatoes. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add torn basil pieces and salt and pepper to taste. Turn off burner. Add half the gorgonzola over the warm pasta (so it melts into the sauce) and add the other half after a few minutes so the pasta has chunks of gorgonzola. Pour tomato basil gorgonzola mixture over pasta. Eat while still warm and then eat leftovers the next day as a cold pasta salad.


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