Penne with Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil, Green Beans, and Feta*


6 to 8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed and broken in half

2 cups chopped fresh ripe tomatoes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 plump garlic clove, minced (more the taste)

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons slivered basil

2 ounces crumbled feta (about 1/2 cup)

3/4 pound pasta (penne or fusilli work well)



1.  Combine the olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes (or longer).

2.  Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Add the green beans to the boiling water, and boil four to five minutes, depending on how crunchy you like them. Remove with a strainer or skimmer, and transfer to the ice water. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and then drain and set aside.

3.  Bring the water back to a boil, and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, about eight minutes. When the pasta is ready, drop the green beans back into the water to heat, and then drain the pasta and beans and toss at once with the tomato mixture and the feta. Serve hot or room temperature.


*From the New York Times