Prep 40 mins
Cook 15 mins
The tomato, native to the Americas, has made its mark on cuisines around the world. The conquistadors encountered tomatoes, called xitomatl by the Aztecs, when they arrived in the New World. When they carried their discovery back to Spain, the name became tomate. From there, tomatoes made their way to the rest of Europe. Temperate regions along the Mediterranean were particularly conducive to growing this sun-loving fruit. On its travels, the tomato found its way into Spanish gazpachos, French salads, Italian sauces, North African tagines and, eventually, Indian curries and other Asian dishes. Botanically, the tomato is a fruit of the vine. In the kitchen, it is almost always treated as a vegetable. In fact, in 1893, the United States Supreme Court ruled, for the purpose of levying a tariff, that the tomato was a vegetable. Like the sunny Mediterranean region, Florida has the warm temperatures necessary for cultivating tomatoes. This state’s tomato industry is believed to have started in the 1870s. Today, Florida is the nation’s largest producer of fresh tomatoes. With almost every southern county in the state cultivating tomatoes, Florida produces virtually all the fresh-market, field-grown tomatoes in the US from October through June each year, and accounts for about 50 % of all fresh tomatoes produced domestically.
- Wash and rinse tomatoes.
- Dry tomatoes, then core and cut in half. Use a spoon to remove most of the seeds. Chop tomatoes coarsely.
- Add chopped tomatoes to a colander, sprinkle with a few pinches of salt, and let them sit so they can release some of their water. This should only take a half an hour and can be done ahead of time.
- Combine drained tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and garlic into a large sauté pan. Heat tomato mixture over low heat and warm the mixture do not cook it.
- Cook and drain pasta according to its directions.
- Combine pasta and tomato mixture together.
- Add fresh basil and parmesan.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and fresh ground pepper.