Jersey Fresh despite the heat


The heat wave that came upon us at the very beginning of July was still very much in evidence today. While it’s making its presence felt in backyards across the diocese where flowers and vegetables are struggling to survive, there was plenty of produce and many blossoms to be had from the stands at Trenton Farmers Market.

Jersey tomatoes, peppers, cukes and herbs such as basil are out in abundance. Some red leaf lettuce is still to be found and looks very tasty indeed.

The New Jersey Farm Fresh newsletter from Rutgers at http://www.njfarmfresh.rutgers.edu/ will fill you in on everything that’s available.

Since this is definitely the season for quick spagetti sauce, here’s a take on one with the freshest of tomatoes and basil.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and shredded by hand; a pound of fresh Jersey tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped; 4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed;  3 tablespoons olive oil (it need not be EVO) salt and pepper to taste; 1 lb spaghetti or spaghettini cooked according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Directions: heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat; add the garlic and saute for 1 or 2 minutes til it is a bit golden but not brown; add the tomatoes and the basil and continue cooking for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spoon to make sure the suace does not dry out. Add pasta water if needed to keep it from drying out. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the pasta directly into the pan in which the sauce is cooking, mix well and top with pecorino Romano cheese. Serve with a salad of fresh greens dusted with more pecorino and a loaf of Italian bread.

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