Below, you’ll find a recipe of mine that I submitted to The Synthesis for this week’s article. Do a test run, add your own twists, and tell me what you think! I feel like this recipe is so perfect for Northern California right this moment: we’re at the place seasonally where locally grown heirloom tomatoes are lovely as all get-out and so are the locally raised peaches. And they want to be together. In pasta. Enjoy!
This dish would be great with sweet & spicy sausage. I’m also temped to add grated gruyere, parm, or roquefort to the top, just as it’s being served—but the sweetness of the peaches with the balsamic and the savory beef stock is delicious on its own. I also kinda want this with peach margaritas… have a peach-fest, why don’t ya?
1 onion, diced
1 heirloom tomato, diced
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, leaves pulled from stem, minced
2 Tbsp. garlic, minced (not the stuff that comes in jars; that’s not actually garlic)
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, leaves pulled from stem, minced
1/4 cup decent balsamic vinegar
1 cup beef stock
2 fresh local peaches, skins and pits removed, diced
1 six-oz. can organic tomato paste
2 lbs. pasta (I used brown rice fusilli from Trader Joe’s)
Begin by prepping your ingredients and setting them aside in bowls. Dice the onion and the tomato, set them aside. Remove the rosemary leaves from the stem, and finely mince them. Lightly smash the garlic with the flat of your chef’s knife and remove the paper, mince, and set it aside. Remove the thyme leaves from the stem, mince them and set them aside. Cut the peaches in half, remove the skin and the pits, dice, and set them aside.
Gather the rest of your tools (1/4 cup measuring cup, 1 cup measuring cup, can opener, large pot, large pan, etc.). Bring 2 gallons of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat.
Sauté the onion in a large pan with plenty of olive oil (or another oil if you’re opposed to the low flash-point of olive oil) over medium heat until it gets a little caramel-y. Add the diced tomato and cook until the juices begin to release. Toss in the rosemary and stir until fragrant. Stir in the garlic, being careful not to burn it, and continue to stir until fragrant. Add the thyme and stir for a minute or two.
Add the balsamic to the tomato mixture and stir, using it to deglaze the pan and get any sticky bits off the bottom. Cook over medium heat until the balsamic gets a bit syrupy and starts to reduce. Add the beef stock and the peaches and simmer until the peaches break down and become part of the sauce. Add the tomato paste and stir until a good sauce consistency is reached. Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low.
By this time, your water should be boiling. Give it a good dose of olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking (rice pasta is especially starchy and prone to sticking) and throw in a handful or two of good salt. Cook the pasta until just done—I prefer my pasta al dente. Drain it in a colander and return it to the pot. Pour the sauce over it, garnish with fresh thyme, and serve.