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I have a way of getting swept up in summer. I suppose it is something I never fully realized or appreciated until now. The long summer days that feel like you can squeeze three, possibly even four, chapters into your day are definitely worth smiling about. Relaxed lazy dinners followed by trips to the ice cream store or a dunk in the pool give me that feeling I had as a child growing up in the summer. The feeling that I have time: a release from the regimented deadlines and time frames that can seem all consuming and important. Weekends without sports schedules and endless commitments can be amended to include a slightly fluid plan to BBQ and indulge in a few cocktails.

The summer’s we’ve spent away from home are always fun too, yet somehow the pace ends up being different and other things are foregone – like the summer vegetable garden, dinner parties in the back yard, or taking a ride to the wine country or out to the beach.

I come from a family that is all about traditions – food, holiday and vacation traditions. We suffer from a serious case of never wanting to let anything go, but always wanting to do something new. Not really a sustainable model, but you get the idea. We love to have fun! And we are fortunate in that fun often knocks at our door. That’s not to say that it is a bed of roses all of the time. There is a downside growing up with so many traditions to uphold – it limits your times with friends outside of the family. I experienced the same thing as a child, and at times I can see it in my children’s lives. It’s certainly not a curse, but there are times it is tricky to navigate.

I have been accused of being a perfectionist, of not being able to let things go, and while I can’t really argue with those assessments, I am not sure that they are entirely bad attributes in moderation. >Yes, of course I could reign them in and I really do try to accept “good enough” when possible.< It’s just that I am all about the details. Those little things that make or break a memory or a recipe — and so with that in mind you have a window into my mind.

This week the details are in the simplicity of good ingredients tossed into a hearty dish that is great as a standalone entre or side dish. Summer flavors don’t need much help; sweet vine ripened tomatoes take center stage for this pasta recipe.

Thank you to Lucia and Tobia for sharing this new recipe with me. I must confess, the ingredient list was so very simple for this recipe that I didn’t even have to run out to the store before cooking; consider this a summer pantry dish at its best. I think I’ve just found my favorite weeknight meal.

Roasted Tomato Bucatini


3 (6 oz) cans tomato sauce

24 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

½ red onion, sliced lengthwise and then cut in half

2 tsps sugar

1-2 TBS olive oil

2 tsps salt

1 lb bucatini

Parmesan cheese, to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper place halved tomatoes and toss with olive oil and sugar. Stir to combine. Cook approximately 30 minutes until tomatoes are nearly dry.

In a large pan, over medium low heat, add olive oil and cook onions until translucent. Stir frequently. Then add tomato sauce and the caramelized tomatoes. Cook approximately 10 minutes until sauce is desired thickness and consistency.

While the sauce is cooking, prepare pasta according to package directions, adding salt to the water for added flavor. Once pasta is cooked, reserve one cup of pasta water off to the side to add to the sauce if it becomes dry. Drain pasta and then place it in a warmed bowl with a dab of butter, sauce (reserving a small amount off to the side to add to the top before serving), and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and serve; top with extra sauce.