August 31, 2014

pasta with fresh tomato concassé and olives

 Tomato concassé (pronounced "kon-kah-SAY") is diced tomatoes which have been peeled and the seeds removed.  Some cooks ignore the peeling and seeding and simply chop up their tomatoes, which if you are short on time is fine.  However, considering how little work it takes to make a concassé, I believe that it is worth the effort.

Don't underestimate the flavor of this pasta because of the simplicity of ingredients.  It is easily one of the most flavorful and delicious pastas that I have prepared.  Plus, let's be honest, it has a pretty cool name!  :)  I served it with a Tuscan roasted garlic loaf... perfect.

And... look who I found to be the main star...

Servings 4-6
Total Time 45 minutes

  • 2 1/2 pounds tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • course salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound pasta, a small cut  (if making gluten-free be sure to grab the appropriate pasta)


Bring a large pot full of water, deep enough to cover the tomatoes, to a boil.   (this will also be the pot you will use for the pasta)

In a large bowl, add enough water to cover the tomatoes and a couple cups of ice.

For each tomato, remove the tough part where the stem used to be by using the tip of a paring knife to carve a small cone-shaped piece out of the stem end.  Next turn the tomato over, and on the other end mark a small cross in the skin with the knife.  Each cut should be about an inch long.

When the tomatoes are ready, place a few at a time in the boiling water.  When the water returns to a boil, allow them to cook about a minute longer and then remove them using a slotted spoon.  Immediately place the tomatoes in the ice water for a minute.  You will see the skin begin to peel.  Remove them from the ice water and place them on a towel.  Repeat until all tomatoes are done.  Turn the burner off, but don't dump out the water... you can use it for the pasta.

Peel the tomatoes, the skin should come right off, and then cut each one in half.  Use your finger to scoop out the seeds.

Dice the tomatoes and place them in a large bowl.  Add the olives, 1/2 cup basil, garlic, and olive oil.  Gently mix and season with salt (I used 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper to taste.  Cover and set aside at room temp for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

While the tomatoes are sitting start the pasta.  In the large pot add salt to the water and return to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente.  Drain.Add the pasta to the sauce and toss gently to combine.

Top with remaining basil and enjoy!!!

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