Friday, May 17, 2013

TOMATO & BASIL PASTA


The spectacular 'pan flip', daring, skillful, or just plain silly?                     Mans
I remember hearing Nige (Slater) once say something along the lines of, ‘what grows together, goes together’. I can’t think of a better example than tomatoes and basil. Most Italians know that planting basil next to tomatoes helps keep the bugs off them, but when it comes to chomping the two, you don’t have to be Italian to recognise that the two are a ridiculously yummy combination. They are simply made for each other…

Almost ready to chomp                                                                    Mans
Pretty much throughout summer I can pop out into my little garden and grab a few tomatoes and a handful of ‘basilica’ to make a bowl or two of very simple pasta; but in spring and autumn, there is enough to go around for a few cozy gatherings.

Simple, fresh and yummy                                                                       Mans
Although I came up with this recipe on my own, I’m sure many an Italian household is munching something similar every other summer’s day. Perhaps if you are Italian, the dish is so obvious, it doesn’t really need a formal recipe? As much as I wish I were Italian, I’m not, so for a final taste of summer, try this ‘formal’ recipe.

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I was rather proud of these          Mans
WHAT YOU NEED
- Pasta 100g per person (I like spaghetti No. 5)
- Olive oil. A glug per person.
- Chopped tomatoes. 1 or 2 large ones per person or a large handful of whole cherry ones.
- Roughly chopped basil. A gentle handful per person.
- Chopped garlic (optional). You decide how much…
- Parmigiano
- Salt and pepper. Maybe chilli?

WHAT TO DO
Get the generously salted pasta water on the go (it should taste like the Mediterranean Sea). Then toss the olive oil, tomatoes and garlic into a large pan; season and leave to gently bubble away, while occasionally stirring. I keep cherry tomatoes whole. By the time the pasta is al dente, the tomatoes should be ready. If you are using cherry tomatoes they should be bursting. Drain the pasta and reserve some of the water. If it’s spaghetti, I transfer the pasta straight into the pan using tongs. Chuck in the basil and mix. If you are daring, skillful or just plain silly, go for the spectacular ‘pan flip’ method. You can always add a little pasta water or olive oil to loosen the pasta if it’s a little stodgy. Serve with grated parmigiano.

Within ten minutes you can be eating this...                                                                                                                        Mans




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