Bruschetta is my go-to party dish whenever I have guests in the summer. I usually tend to do three versions for a little variety: a classic tomato, roasted yellow bell pepper and crème de parmesan. It’s always a hit, and seems like more work than it actually is. Even when doing three different kinds, it comes together easily and effortlessly. Once the guests arrive, all I have to do is heat up my bread rounds and spoon on my different sauces.
The last time that I made bruschetta I ended up with some leftovers. While the sharp tomatoey goodness of my classic recipe is delicious enough to eat right out of the bowl with a spoon, I decided to see what it would be like if I added it to some pasta. I ate this particular dish luke-warm, but I have a feeling it would be even better as a cold vegetarian pasta salad. The capers and olives paired perfectly with the pasta with a little zest from the lemon juice. Some mild gruyère cheese topped it all off and helped the dish to find balance.
Bruschetta pasta (serves 2)
3-4 large, ripe tomatoes, diced
1 T lemon juice
1 T olive oil
1 small shallot, diced
3 T capers
3 T black olives
1 t herbes de provence or other dried herbs
Put some water on to boil for the pasta while you prepare your bruschetta garnish. Begin by preparing the tomatoes. Cut into fourths, then cut along the outer flesh to remove all seeds from the inside of the tomatoes. Chop as finely as you can, into cubes, and add to a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to the tomatoes and let them macerate until the other ingredients are ready. Dice the shallot and roughly chop the capers and black olives. Add to the tomatoes. Using a colander, drain the tomato mixture before going any further. Let drain for a full minute, softly pushing on the tomatoes to remove any excess juices. Return the mixture to the bowl and add the lemon juice, olive oil and herbes de provence. Toss to coat, set aside.
Once the pasta is ready, toss with the bruschetta garnish and the cheese of your choice. Serve right away or let cool for a fabulous pasta salad.