I want to dive right into this bowl of summer!!
Summer spaghetti is an enigmatical dish which exists primarily in the hazy recesses of my mind where I store and savor the very best of days gone by. Those hazy memories include a long table at a family home no longer known to us, open windows wafting in the scent of cut grass, and large bowls of spaghetti scattered with vegetables and suspended in tomato broth.
I remember so little about this family dish which was made by my aunt and passed down by my grandmother, but I’ve turned hazy memories into a very tangible dinner that I would be delighted to eat every day for the next three months.
If you are thinking that this resembles a soup, you’d be right. However, with the help of fresh vegetables and herbs, this hot broth breathes of summer flavor, making it a relished meal on even the hottest of days.
We begin by making a super simple tomato broth. The broth comes together quickly and can simmer on the back burner while we focus our attention on the other components. Namely, roasted corn and cherry tomatoes, and sautéed shrimp.
While the corn and tomatoes blister in the oven, smashed garlic cloves and shrimp plump up in a frying pan.
Now, we can assemble.
Roasted vegetables and shrimp join spaghetti and fresh, torn basil.
I like to portion the pasta out first and then ladle or pour the hot tomato broth over each bowl. Is your mouth watering yet?
I am sure this is a far cry from the summer spaghetti of days gone by, which I believe featured hot dogs on occasion, but that is by no means a complaint.
A glowing red bowl of summer.
FOR THE BROTH
1, 28-ounce canned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup dry, white wine
1/2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 head garlic, top and outer peel removed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pour all ingredients into a 4-quart saucepan and set over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium and simmer steadily for 15 minutes.
(During this time, roast the vegetables and boil the pasta as directed below.)
Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing the mixture to release all of the juices.
Keep the broth warm until you are ready to serve.
FOR THE SHRIMP & ROASTED VEGETABLES
1/2 lb grape tomatoes
2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed from cobs
extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb spaghetti
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Fill a large pot with water and season liberally with kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and add pasta. Cook until al dente; about 10 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the vegetables.
Lay the tomatoes and corn evenly over a lined baking sheet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Roast the vegetables for 15 minutes; until the corn is crisp and the tomatoes have blistered.
While the vegetables roast, prepare the shrimp.
Melt butter the a large, nonstick frying pan set over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown. Once the garlic has browned, add the shrimp and cook until pink and plump.
Transfer the drained pasta to a large bowl and toss in vegetables, prepared shrimp and garlic, and fresh basil.
Place the spaghetti into bowls and top with several ladle-fulls of the prepared broth. Serve immediately.