NYC is a city of contrasts. This week, for example my very brave friend Jess made something of a public declaration of hope on her blog. Not entirely out of the blue, you understand, but because she has met a very nice man.
â€œThe new journey is still a mystery as all good journeys are, but instead of over-thinking it Iâ€™ll sit back and enjoy each moment,â€ she said. In a city like New York, this kind of thinking in the face of dating adversity and trial, counts as especially heroic.
It was enough to make you feel all warm inside, a believer in love, a hoper, a dreamer.
Then another friend called to say that heâ€™d been on a blind date.
The girl in question had turned up to a fairly low key pizza restaurant wearing â€œA dress made entirely out of chain links and no underwear.â€
Like I said. City of contrasts.
And so, I suppose, to the balcony. Producer of basil and tomatoes and mint and cilantro slap dab in the middle of urban chaos.
And so to dinner â€“ a famersâ€™ market summer special – roasted tomato pasta, which soothes, inspires, and makes believers of us all I suppose.
Roasted â€œProvencalâ€ tomato pasta (serves 4)1 lb Angel Hair pasta (or spaghetti) 2 pints of fresh tomatoes â€“ any kind that looks especially ripe 1 tbsp garlic (about 3 â€“ 4 cloves) Â½ cup olive oil Â½ cup white wine Â¼ cup honey 1 large handful basil Parmesan cheese to finish Salt and pepper Â
- Preheat the oven to 400f
- Chop any large tomatoes into chunks, dice the garlic as small as you have the patience for, and put them into a roasting tin with the olive oil, honey, and wine. Season well, and roast for 15 â€“ 20 minutes
- Bring a huge pot of water to the boil and salt liberally. Add the pasta and set a timer for 1 minute less than the box suggests
- Drain the pasta (not too well â€“ the water helps the sauce) and stir in the tomato mixture. Stir to combine
- Tear up the basil and stir in, then grate over about Â¾ cup of Parmesan cheese