Minimal Monday: Angel Hair Pasta alla Cecca

My husband and I limit our farmer’s market binges by bringing just one twenty dollar bill with us.  That way we can’t be tempted to go berserk.  We buy twenty dollars worth and call it a day.  That works for most of the year, but in high summer season we give ourselves permission to cheat a little.

Even though we scrounged around for a few extra bills yesterday, we still had to leave behind the $6 pints of luminescent wild currents, the wafer thin Pecan Kringle ($12), and the whole lineup of California pluots.   Maybe next Sunday.

I made this classic summer pasta for lunch after the market.  It’s an uncooked tomato sauce, almost like a salsa, and couldn’t be easier.  I used heirlooms, but any kind will do, including cherry tomatoes.  Chop up about one large tomato for every serving of pasta, and toss them in a bowl, keeping all the juices.

Mince a clove or two of garlic, and roll and slice a stack of fresh basil leaves, so you end up with thin ribbons.  Add them to the tomatoes.

Toss in a drizzle of olive oil, a splash of red or white wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. Drain some little balls of fresh mozzerella and add them to the tomatoes.

Meanwhile cook angel hair pasta until very al dente and add in a little olive oil to keep the strands separated.

Toss with the Cecca sauce and enjoy!

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25 Comments

  • Reply
    Dom at Belleau Kitchen
    June 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

    absolutely STUNNING… again!… so fresh!… I love all those clean summery tastes… I really could eat a bowl of this NOW!… divine

  • Reply
    Tricia
    June 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    We were looking at those tiny balls of cheese at the store this past weekend. Now I know what I can make with them. This is a lovely, fresh, colorful salad and your photos are terrific!

  • Reply
    Bryan
    June 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    This is one colorful dish! Can’t wait for the tomatoes to come out around here.

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    June 26, 2012 at 2:05 am

    look at those tomatoes? I mean really. They look so amazing and so juicy and so delicious I am craving them now- forget the pasta- i mean i do love my pasta but those tomatoes! WOW!

  • Reply
    Ben
    June 26, 2012 at 1:11 am

    All I can say is that I love summer. Amazing pasta dish!

  • Reply
    L o v e l y t h i n g s
    June 26, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Oh this looks so good! Beautiful! I can’t believe the colors of those tomatoes!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      That’s why it’s so hard to limit the spending, once you start picking out tomatoes for the colors, where do you stop?

  • Reply
    Eileen
    June 25, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Tomatoes and bocconcini–sign me up! I could eat a simple pasta like this every day :)

  • Reply
    Ellen B Cookery
    June 25, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    What a clever idea, limiting how much cash you bring to the market. Sure controls overbuying since everything looks so good! By the way, that is one lovely pasta dish!

  • Reply
    Cathy at Wives with Knives
    June 25, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    You are so right about it being easy to blow through the money at the market. I have to fight the temptation to buy more than I can use in a week. It all looks so wonderful I have a hard time resisting. I can’t think of a more delicious way to use the tomatoes that will soon appear than making a pasta dish like this. The only thing I might add is a little pinch of red pepper flakes.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    June 25, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I’ve always cooked this a little in olive oil. But your version looks even more delicious-will have to try.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      I usually cook it a little bit in the colder months, but I like how the tomatoes cool down the pasta and it’s almost a room temperature dish in the summer.

  • Reply
    Junglefrog
    June 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Now that looks gorgeous! I can see why you limit yourself to a 20 dollar for the farmers market as I have the same. I cannot resist and then I end up with way too much to eat before it goes bad! Love the look of those heirloom tomatoes too!

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    June 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Delicious looking lunch! I make a similar one using summer squash and zucchini. I’ve never seen mini mozzarella ball though! I’m going to keep an eye peeled for them!

    You made me smile about the $20.00 bill! My husband and I do the same thing, except now we have a new market and a vendor that sell mussels, there goes $6.00 off the top! Thankfully I have one vendor who takes debit cards! She’s got a little gadget on her iPhone!

    Have a great day!

    Mary

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      Some of our stalls are starting to take credit cards, too. That spells disaster for me! Oh, and you can find the mini mozzerella balls at Trader Joes, if you have one near you, Mary!

  • Reply
    Sulpicia (III)
    June 25, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    This looks fantastic. Those tomatoes are so beautiful. Next time you have to make your own mozzarella ;)

  • Reply
    Anne
    June 25, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I love pasta recipes! This looks amazing:) Have a lovely week!
    ~Anne

  • Reply
    Heather @girlichef.com
    June 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I have to do the exact same thing or I go broke! This salad combo is one of my favorites. As are heirloom tomatoes. They are one of my major weaknesses!

  • Reply
    Mary
    June 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    This is one of my all-time favorite pasta combinations. I have never heard it called a Cecca sauce before this. YAY. I love learning new names for my favorite foods! (I do the EXACT same thing when we head for the market too. $20 cash is usually the limit. It’s easy to go produce crazy with the abundance at our fingertips!)

    • Reply
      RC1956
      June 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      You are right about going nuts at the farmer’s market. I love the fresh veggies, tomatoes, baby potatoes, squashes, fresh jellies and jams, breads. You could spend a fortune there. This pasta looks so wonderful. It’s a shame that my family isn’t crazy about fresh tomatoes. I may make it just for myself though

  • Reply
    Kate
    June 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Your effortless minimal mondays are so natural and easy going and for you but look so amazing and delicious to me.

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