Summer Pasta with Smashed Tomatoes, Peaches & Mozzarella

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We have been cooking this quick little dinner recipe rather frequently during the summer. At a first glance, it might seem like it’s just a classic/boring fresh tomato pasta. But when you consider the context: hot summer days, family time, ripe tomatoes in season, everyone is hungry but no one feels like cooking … you’ll realise that it’s exactly the kind of simple dinner that we all need more of. We have of course given this dish our own schwung. Instead of just serving tomatoes fresh, we squeeze/punch/smash them up a bit so they get softer and release some of that lovely juice that gets mixed with olive oil, a splash of the hot pasta water, fresh basil, garlic and pickled capers. Already there, you got yourself a pretty great flavor combo. But then we throw in a handful of peach slices for extra sweetness, delicious toasted pine nuts and some large chunks of creamy buffel mozzarella, which makes it Italian-grandmother-kind-of-awesome.

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You can serve this with any type of pasta. In our home we usually use various sorts of gluten free (buckwheat is a favourite) or whole grain pasta or spiralized/shredded zucchini (also known as zoodles), but here we are using bean linguine, made entirely from dried beans and therefore naturally vegan, gluten free and high in protein. This pasta has a delicious flavour and a nice chewy texture. We have seen various sorts of bean pastas starting to pop up in supermarkets and health food stores – soybean pasta, chickpea pasta and black bean pasta – so keep an eye out for those next time you are out shopping for pasta.

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In this dish the quality of the ingredients is everything. Use only fresh, ripe tomatoes and peaches and make sure to choose your favourite olive oil.

If you want a creamier sauce, you can sub the mozzarella for ricotta cheese + some lemon juice, which also is really awesome. You can of course also add parmesan cheese if you prefer. For a vegan option, I think it’d be interesting to work with a softer type tofu instead of the cheese. Perhaps pre-marinate it for a while in olive oil and fresh Italian herbs.

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Pasta with smashed raw tomatoes, peach & mozzarella
Serves 4

1 clove garlic
2 tbsp pickled capers
500 g / 1 lb ripe tomatoes
3-4 sprigs fresh basil, leaves picked and chopped, save some for garnish
a few glugs of cold-pressed olive oil
a pinch sea salt and black pepper
200 g  / 7 oz bean pasta or other gluten free pasta alternative or zucchini noodles
1 handful pine nuts
2 peaches or nectarines
200 g / 7 oz mozzarella cheese
1 handful rucola/aragula/rocket salad

Mince the garlic very finely. Mash the capers with the back of a knife. Divide the tomatoes in half. Chop the basil. Place everything in a large serving bowl and add a few glugs of olive oil, salt and pepper. With your hands, squeeze or punch the tomatoes until soft and juicy. Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water according to the instructions on package. Meanwhile, lightly toast the pine nuts in a skillet on medium heat. Slice the nectarines and tear the mozzarella in smaller pieces. When that pasta is done, reserve about 1/2 cup / 100 ml of cooking water and drain the rest. Add the pasta immediately to the serving bowl while it’s still hot, toss with the tomato ‘sauce’ and rucola until well mixed, add some of the cooking water if you want to make it a little juicier. Decorate with peaces, mozzarella cheese, pine nuts, arugula, a few whole basil leaves and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Ready to serve.

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57 Comments

  • I just love recipes that have pure, simple ingredients with flavours that complement each other perfectly! This recipe is a great example of that. Have a wonderful time in Barcelona!
  • Oh my goodness, this looks incredible. The photos, the ingredients... Wow! Pinned and ready to try.
  • I love the way you smashed the tomatoes by hand! It's so rewarding when you have that manual, physical element in making your own food (i.e. kneading dough, crushing berries, etc.) I'm actually going home to my parents' house in the country this weekend, and we have a beautiful little farmstand there with local produce. I'm definitely getting some tomatoes and making a sauce this way! Thank you for the inspiration :)
  • This pasta dish sounds perfectly not boring! Yum!
  • THIS. Absolutely beautiful with wondrously complementary ingredients! I have to try it with zucchini noodles!
  • Can't wait to make this. Pasta perfection!!
  • I've never heard of bean pasta before, but I'm so intrigued! Why not?! I love that you added peaches to the pasta with tomatoes and cheese, I wouldn't have thought of that, but it sounds incredible. I can't wait to try this beautiful dish! Happy summer! xx Sydney
  • This looks amazing. Dinner is safe now. Guess I have everything on hand. Thanks for the recipe.
  • I can't believe this... for us too, this summer has been so much about pasta with pesto, topped with a lot of spicy, tangy salsa, made with heirloom or cherry tomatoes. It tastes so good, especially outdoors, right in the backyard or during a picnic. An accidental find while trying to finish the leftovers after our block party:)
  • oh my goodness!! What a beautiful recipe to incorporate kids too! I have my baby nephew visiting (not much of a baby anymore), but he would love to help smash the tomatoes! And it looks so delicious and fresh too. Thanks for the recipe! x
  • oh wow! This sounds amazing. I find adding the peaches especially intriguing. Really need to make that. Thanks for the recipe :) P.s.: the pics are soooo nice!
  • I have never squeezed tomatoes before serving them with pasta...and I am Italian, I mean, how could have been possible?!good idea, I will try it!!!
  • Oh wow,those tomatoes are absolutely gorgeous! Almost, too good to be squished, lol! Love the idea of adding peaches. :)
  • Deliciosa! Me encanta! besos!
  • Such a wholesome pasta dish - and I love the look of the bean linguine!
  • That looks absolutely delicious, I definitely have to try it out, I love the combination of peaches, pasta and cheese! xx 113-things-to-say.blogspot.com
  • Ooh this dish looks delicious. I love squishing things in my hands, so this recipe is fun as well. Sammie http://www.feastingisfun.com
  • This sounds great. I'd never think of adding peaches to my salad!
  • This looks wonderful, perfect for a summer evening eating outside in the sun! I love the addition of the peaches to this, I can't wait for the tomatoes in my garden to ripen and then I will be making this! H x www.hermionespantry.com

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