Pasta With Marinated Tomatoes

Live near a greenmarket or a good supermarket? Go there right now. Seriously, what are you doing on the Internet? The market is not going to have such a great selection of so many vegetables until this time next year. More importantly, soon tomatoes will be tasteless until next July. Go. Now.
You’re back? Bought more vegetables than you possibly know what to do with? Great. Now you should make this.
Don’t tell me you’re too busy. Remember all those other times I claimed recipes took no time at all? This one really takes no time. You don’t even have to know how to cook. Can you chop stuff and throw it in a bowl? You’re all set! Seriously, that’s it.
This is really the perfect recipe for a busy day, because the oil tastes better the longer you let it sit. Toss your ingredients together, go run your errands, see a movie, do whatever–let this baby sit on your counter for hours and hours. And no, germaphobes, it will not grow anything, or go bad. It will go GOOOOD. Just make sure you’re using fresh tomatoes, and using them as soon as you buy them. The marinating enhances the flavor of good tomatoes, so if you use tasteless, mealy ones, you will have an extra tasteless and mealy meal. Now you see why I hurried you out of the house to go buy tomatoes!

Pasta With Marinated Tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
4 to 5 medium/large tomatoes, preferably heirloom
3 garlic gloves, sliced as thinly as possible
1/4 cup finely sliced fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried basil*
pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 large ball or 1 small ball fresh mozzarella, diced
3/4 pound pasta, preferably fresh

Pour olive oil into a large, nonreactive bowl and add garlic and basil, stirring to combine. If you like a bit of a spicy kick, add your red pepper flakes now. Let sit on your counter (feel free to cover it) as many hours as you like and up to all day, but at least one hour.

Two hours before serving, dice tomatoes and add to the bowl of oil, stirring to ensure all tomatoes get coated. It will not look like there is enough oil in the bowl, but as tomatoes marinate they’ll release more liquid. Let sit on the counter, stirring every half hour or so. After two hours, cook your pasta and dice the mozzarella. Drain pasta, return to pot, and pour in the tomato mixture, stirring well to combine. Divide into bowls, top with mozzarella, and serve.

*Please, please try to use fresh basil if you can. Dried basil is fine if, for example, you accidentally put your fresh basil in the weird part of your fridge that freezes things.

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