Tomato Herb Pasta

Chow on 09.29.10
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Here in Florida, my end-of-summer is just beginning. It's still too hot to go without the air conditioning during the day, but at least early mornings and late evenings the air is cool enough to enjoy eating outdoors without breaking a sweat in the first 2 minutes.

This recipe is from a brand new book called Southern Living 1001 Ways to Cook Southern, actually I really shouldn't call this just a cookbook, it's a massive 928 page reference guide to some of the best recipes our Southern states have to offer.

But don't think it's all about grits and fried chicken, Southern Living has adapted many favorites to be lighter, healthier, including this Tomato Herb Pasta.

I've marked so many recipes that I want to try, including kid-favorites like S'more Puffs (buttery cracker + Hershey's Kiss + marshmallow) to Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops.

We've already tried the Quick Crawfish Etoufee and Scalloped Oysters (I'm going to modify both recipes a bit and get back to ya on these).

Tomato Herb Pasta

photo and recipe from Southern Living 1001 Ways to Cook Southern
reprinted with permission from Oxmoor House

Serves 6

1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 (12-oz.) package whole grain spaghetti
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/3 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

1. Whisk together vinegar and 1 Tbsp. sugar in a bowl. Add onion, and let stand 30 minutes; drain, reserving 2 Tbsp. vinegar mixture.
2. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
3. Place chopped tomatoes and next 9 ingredients in a serving bowl. Add hot cooked pasta, onion, and reserved vinegar mixture, gently tossing to combine. Sprinkle with peanuts. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 24 hours.