We were lucky to have been invited by friends to their family lake house in New York at the tail end of summer vacation. Located in the foothills between the Catskills and the Poconos, it’s a really cool old house with porches and a fireplace and bats in the attic, and you walk right out the back door onto a dock overlooking a beautiful spring-fed lake.
A total media blackout was enacted for the entire stay. Fishing poles replaced TV, computer games were traded for a kayak, and nature walks were conducted rain or shine. Six kids under age 8 shared beds and sleeping bags while Husband and I slept in a tent on the porch. After the first chilly night, I stole all the blankets off of everyone else’s bed and stacked them up in the tent like The Princess and the Pea, wherein I played the role of both princess and pea. Books were read and many bowls of ice cream were consumed. Contentious Scrabble games, inflamed by questionable scorekeeping, were eventually tempered by wine and exhaustion.
All three couples brought our CSA shares from Waltham Fields and Lindentree Farm, and we somehow managed to consume all 19 pounds of tomatoes by way of pasta sauce, ratatouille, gazpacho, BLTs, salads, and countless tomato sandwiches of toasted Italian bread, warm mayo, slabs of ripe heirlooms, salt, pepper, and nothing more. But here’s the other dish that made us swoon: Angel hair pasta tossed with raw cherry tomatoes macerated in a garlic and basil slurry. It’s a lake house tradition that I daresay should extend beyond the lake. Not only is it virtually no effort at all, but it’s a great way to enjoy the last of the season’s sungolds.
Angel Hair Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic, and Basil
So good you could even skip the cheese!
1 lb. angel hair pasta
4 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
Red pepper flakes to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Marinate tomatoes in olive oil, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper for 4-6 hours. Boil angel hair in salted water until al dente. Drain, then toss with tomato mixture and as much Parmesan as desired.
Source: Adapted from The New York Times and Jean Halberstam of Nantucket.