Okay… so it’s HOT outside. The dog days of summer are here! And with temperatures soaring and the humidity stifling it’s the right time to take a break from cooking or at least make a dish requiring little to no cooking… sounds pretty great, am I right?! I stumbled on this gem in a Southern Living Magazine back in 1993 and when it’s too hot to cook… this is my go to!

While this recipe calls for vine-ripened tomatoes, I often find myself reaching for a can of tomatoes. Yes, grocery stores are bursting with tomatoes this time of year, but those tomatoes may not be as ripe as you’d think or need. That’s because they are picked and shipped before they are at their flavorful best. So, when I’m not feeling the vine-ripened grocery store tomatoes, I grab a can of tomatoes, specifically Muir Glen organic, and they taste just as good, if not better. Plus… no muss, no fuss. Love it!!!

Anyway, this is what you will need…

  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes or 3 large vine-ripened tomatoes
  • ¾ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground red pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 4 ounces pasta (my favorite is Grano Armando, a pasta imported from Italy that can be purchased through amazon.com. I usually use Spaghetto.
  • ½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  1. If using fresh tomatoes parboil for 1-2 minutes and then peel the tomatoes, coarsely chop, reserving juices.
  2. If using can tomatoes, pour into bowl.
  3. Combine tomatoes, reserved juice and next 10 ingredients, cover and let stand 1 hour for flavors to marry.
  4. Cook pasta according to directions on package, drain.
  5. Serve tomato mixture over pasta, sprinkle with cheese.

This dish is full of wonderful herbs and spices. It’s got a little kick, which you may not notice until you are finished eating. If you consider this too spicy, just cut down the amount of cumin and red pepper you add. This gem of a summer recipe is truly delightful and worth making. Here’s to enjoying the heat in your mouth and not in your kitchen. Here’s to summer!