Today’s post is sponsored by Mezzetta. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Fare Isle possible!
Whew, it’s been a minute. This summer blew by. You’d think that a family who lives on an island would have taken at least 1 beach day this summer. But (head held in shame) alas, no we haven’t. Summer is over yet though! Instead, we’ve been hustling our butts off with private chef work because the winter is long and I don’t know about you, but uncertainty makes me stress.
This past week we had a stretch of days off from cheffing and caught up on home projects (read: cleaning my neglected house), gardening, and duh – more cooking, but for ourselves this time. The garden has been giving us an abundance of cherry tomatoes this month so we ate a LOT of pasta and carbs this week. If you haven’t tried cherry tomato sauce yet you seriously need to get on that before their cruelly short season is over.
The lovely folks at Mezzetta sent me some of their delicious products to use in an easy summer stay-cation themed recipe. Well, what’s better than an easy summer pasta with fresh garden produce? So here’s what I came up with…
Roasted tomato sauce is the only way to go in my book so I made an easy sheet pan roasted tomato sauce with our garden cherry tomatoes, lots extra virgin olive oil, seasonings, and added halved Mezzetta Castelvetrano Olives, Non-Pareil Capers, and Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes packed in herbs and olive oil right to the pan. This sauce is so easy and cooks quickly roasted in the oven.
Can we talk about Mezzetta’s Castelvetrano Olives for a minute? Uhhhh, these green jewels come straight from Castelvetrano, Sicily, and are by far the best tasting olive I’ve ever tried. They are mild, buttery, and not overwhelmingly salty. They are wonderful for snacking on, but also great in recipes like the one I’m sharing with you today or try them as a topping on pizzas or focaccia. So freaking good!
I also added Mezzetta Non-Pareil capers and their Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes packed in herbs olive oil to the sauce. The capers add a nice briny flavor and the sun-ripened dried tomatoes add depth of intense tomato flavor. Both are really easy and flavorful additions to quick-cooking tomato sauces.
Our garden is also pumping out patty-pan squash like no one’s business so I sliced and roasted rounds of the squash with sliced onions and whole cloves of garlic with the skins on to add into the final dish. Yes, leave the skins on the garlic so it doesn’t burn. Essentially you are roasting garlic and will squeeze out the buttery flavorful cooked garlic from its skin when it’s done roasting.
You can use any pasta for this recipe. I opted for thin spaghetti. Mini shells or orecchiette would be great options for holding onto the sauce and those beautiful roasted cherry tomatoes, olives, and capers.
I finished the dish with fresh basil and a healthy drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Serve it with fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese or leave it as is for a vegan meal.
As summer days wind down, take the time to savor the sights, sounds, and most of all the tastes of this fleeting season. I’m basically telling myself to do this. I need to do this. And I’ll get to the beach before summer’s end, mark my words!
Easy Summer Pasta
Yield 8 servings
- 2 quarts (about 3lbs) fresh cherry tomatoes
- 2 large shallots or 1 medium-large sweet onion
- 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- 1 pound of zucchini or summer squash
- 1/2 cup Mezzetta Pitted Castelvetravo Olives, halved
- 2 tablespoons Mezzetta Non-Pareil Capers, drained
- 6-8 Mezzetta Whole Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon red chile pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 lb dried pasta
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Line one half sheet pan with tin foil and another with parchment paper.
- Add washed cherry tomatoes with stems removed to the tin foil-lined sheet pan. Add halved olives, capers, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, red chile pepper flakes, and dried oregano to the pan and toss everything together with clean hands.
- Slice squash into 1/4” thin rounds and thinly slice the onion. Add both to the parchment-lined sheet pan. Add whole garlic cloves with the skins on, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Toss everything together with clean hands and arrange squash slices into 1 layer so they don’t overlap.
- Bake both trays at 450˚F for about 30 minutes until tomatoes are browned and sauce is bubbling, and the squash and onions are browned and garlic is soft.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions or until pasta is al dente, then drain and add pasta to a large serving dish. Time the pasta cooking time to be done when the sauce and squash are done.
- When the tomato sauce is done roasting, remove from the pan the oven. Taste for salt first then carefully lift up the tinfoil with both hands and pour the sauce over the cooked pasta. Use kitchen tongs or a serving spoon and fork to toss and coat the pasta in the sauce.
- Add the roasted squash and onions to the dish and then squeeze out the roasted garlic into the dish. Use the tongs to incorporate the veggies evenly throughout the pasta.
- Top the pasta with fresh basil leaves and drizzle good quality olive oil all over the dish.
- Serve right away as is or with freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese.
- Leftover pasta will keep for up to 3 days covered and refrigerated. Heat to serve.
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This post was in collaboration with and sponsored by Mezzetta. All content and opinions expressed here are my own. Read more about my sponsored post and affiliate policy here.