Fettuccine with Tomatoes, Basil and Goat Cheese

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. --Julia Child

Living in the Garden State means luscious, organic produce, all summer long.

A mountain of tomatoes (large ones, cherry-sized, plum) arrived in my most recent box from Boxed Organics. I also ordered 10 oz. of fresh, hand-rolled goat cheese fresh from the farm: "goat chèvre made from happy milk from happy goats frolicking in the pastures, looking out over fields and generally having a jolly good time at Apple Tree Dairy in rural Pennsylvania." It is the best goat cheese I've ever had. You can and should eat it by the spoonful--just ask Chris. In addition, my basil plants are thriving in the August sunshine, so I decided to put all these summer riches together into a lovely, bowl of pasta.

I added a box of fettuccine and a few generous handfuls of salt to a pot of water and brought to a boil. (Boiling in "sea water" makes for a better-tasting pasta.) I also added a clove of smashed garlic to the water, for a little kick. When it was just about done/al dente, I drained it, reserving about a cup of the pasta water and tossing the garlic. DO NOT RINSE.

While the pasta was boiling, I chopped up a handful of basil leaves and a dozen of the cherry tomatoes. I set the tomatoes in a colander to drain and sprinkled some salt on them to get rid of excess liquid. I also toasted some thinly sliced garlic in a bit of olive oil. 

I put the drained pasta in a large pan on the stove and set on medium-low heat. I drizzled in a bit of olive oil and 1/4 cup of the pasta water and stirred with tongs until the pasta was heated through and not sticking together.  Then, I added in the tomatoes and toasted garlic and about 3 TBS of the goat cheese, gently mixing it all together.  The basil went in at the very end so it would stay lovely and bright green.

To serve, I used the tongs to put a heaping portion in each bowl, then added a small dollop of goat cheese and a few grinds of the pepper mill.  A delish dish.