In Season: Tomatoes
Do you know how sometimes a recipe becomes an instant favorite from the first try? Such is the case with this perfect pasta dish, which is the ultimate go-to right now — when tomatoes are abundant and ripe and so incredibly delicious. Year-round imports are fine, but we wait all year for local crops, which just blow our minds with their fragrance and flavor.
This easy pasta relies on the simplest ever setup: raw tomatoes, marinated for a few hours with garlic and oil, and crunchy breadcrumbs flavored with parsley. The combo is familiar and new all at once, with parsley swapping in for the more expected basil/tomato combo.
We love the advance prep of marinating the tomatoes; it makes this a go-to entertaining recipe since everything can be prepared in advance. A few tweaks that we like to make: Use pan-toasted panko instead of making the breadcrumbs to cut down on the work and add extra crunch, and toast them in the pan instead of cranking up the oven.
3 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (preferably heirloom), cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon finely grated garlic (from about 2 cloves)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs (from about 1/2 baguette)
3/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 pound penne 2 to 3 ounces ricotta salata or Parmesan cheese, shaved, for serving