TomatoesI seriously would have paid $1 million for these a week ago. That’s how starved I was for a real homegrown tomato.

This has just been a horrifying summer so far. I am having tomato disasters everywhere I turn. So, it started when I couldn’t find my beloved black cherry tomato plants at the Home Depot. I looked at Lowe’s, too. Nothing. So I decided to order some black cherry tomato seeds from the Internet. I will just start my own plants from seed! No. Actually, I did. OMG, does it take a long time to grow a tomato from seed. So, after about a month, I had six plants the size of sewing needles in my handy dandy seed starter sitting by the window near the kitchen. And I left the plastic top off one day, just for a few seconds. The cat ate them.

Plan B. Forget the black cherry tomatoes. I will just plant some regular tomatoes. I buy beautiful strong tomato plants. I plant them. Within days, some horrifying fungal material has sprouted around the plants. They die. Plan C. I will plant more tomatoes. Surely this could not happen twice. It does. Oh, well. Never mind. I will not grow tomatoes this year because now it is late June and surely there will be some at the farmer’s market. There are not. How can there be no tomatoes in late June?

tomato sandwichFinally. I found them on Saturday at the Franklin Farmer’s Market. I practically elbowed an elderly woman using a cane aside to get to them. I had no shame. None at all. And I wasn’t alone. Long lines formed at the few stands that had tomatoes. The anxiety was palpable. What if I get to the head of the line just as the last tomato vanishes? I bought more than I needed. So far, I have had three tomato sandwiches, an entire basket of cherry tomatoes and just some plain and delicious slices with a sprinkling of sea salt and pepper.

Next up: Pasta with cherry tomatoes. And then roasted tomatoes for spaghetti sauce. And a caprese salad. And…

Pasta with cherry tomatoes

Pasta with cherry tomatoes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Showcase this summer's tomato beauty in a simple pasta dish.
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one medium lemon
  • 1 ½ cups sugar plum or cherry tomatoes
  • 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup additional extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup crushed garlic-flavored croutons
  • 8 ounces thin spaghetti
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add lemon juice, tomatoes and mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste. Saute the tomatoes until their skins begin to split and the mushrooms until well browned. Take off heat and add additional olive oil.
  2. To prepare pasta, heat a large enough sauté pan to hold the spaghetti plus water to generously cover. Salt water liberally and heat over medium high heat. When water is hot, add pasta, stirring frequently to separate strands of spaghetti. Continue cooking until pasta is cooked to al dente. The water need not boil for the pasta to be cooked through.
  3. Combine pasta with tomato mixture and sprinkle crushed croutons over the top.

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