Monday, July 4, 2011

No-Cook Tomato- Basil Pasta Sauce

After an afternoon of gardening in the summer sun, the last thing I want to do is make a meal over a hot stove. But there is also a small part of me inspired by the fresh veg in the garden to make something simple for dinner that highlights these beautiful gifts. So whatever I make on these days has to be fresh, delicious and on the table fast.

The sweet scent of the ruby red tomatoes and the fragrant basil is intoxicating. By not cooking them, you allow them speak all their earthy goodness and display all their vibrant colour.

Because there are only five ingredients in this pasta, they all have to be impeccably fresh. This recipe does require that you boil one pot, but one burner on is always better than two! And how often can you really make a lovely meal in one pot and in 10 minutes from start to finish?

No-Cook Tomato-Basil Pasta Sauce
The best pasta to use with this is one that has some ridges or curls to catch some of that delicious flavour. Bocconcini cheese is also wonderful in the mix and if you chop it small, it gets all nice and melty when tossed with hot pasta! Salt is probably the most important in this equation, use it while boiling pasta and use it to season the pasta sauce until it tastes just right.

1 500g package pasta
4 large ripe roma or vine tomatoes
approx. 1/3 cup finely chopped basil (large handful)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tbsp good quality olive oil, or to taste
1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
optional: fresh bocconcini cheese, diced

1. Cook pasta in boiling, salted water according to package directions. While cooking, cut a large "X" on the bottom of the tomatoes and throw in with the cooking pasta for about a minute. Remove with slotted spoon to a plate to cool. When cool, you can easily peel skin from tomatoes and roughly chop them.
2. When pasta is done cooking, drain and quickly toss all ingredients with hot pasta in still-hot pan over turned-off, but still warm, burner. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. Serve immediately.