You know that feeling that you get when someone is so cute you can’t help yourself but kiss them? There’s times you can hold yourself back and there’s times you can’t. Sometimes without even thinking through what it’s going to cost you or are they really that cute. Same with tomatoes. Yesterday my husband was walking by the Farmer’s Market at Union Square and couldn’t resist the tomatoes. He came home with two, for SIX DOLLARS AND TWENTY FIVE CENTS and away from the crowds of people desperate for a good tomato, they didn’t look so good.
A tomato worth taking risks for is seriously red. You won’t have to ask yourself, “is this red enough”. A tomato that’s ready for you and worth the risk of biting into will have you breathing deep and swaying just a little bit from the deep tomato aroma floating under your nose. You’ll be saying only things like, “Holy Cow, this is what I call a TOMATO. (whatever variety, red, yellow or otherwise)” Then you know.
When you find it, either slice it, salt it and have a tomato sandwich, or slice it in half, seed it, chop it and drizzle with the best olive oil you can find. Add a little salt, seven or eight torn basil leaves, and a clove of smashed and minced raw fresh garlic for every, I don’t know, pound and a half of tomatoes say. Put a big pot of salted water on to boil. Drop in a little more than half a pound of pasta and cook until al dente. Drain well. Chop up some fresh mozzarella, the buffala if you have it, and then toss your tomatoes and your cheese with the noodles, adding a few gratings of parmesan as well and more basil, olive oil and salt and freshly ground black pepper if you need it.