Jack and Mary Daily are helping me to get around town until my Doctor says I can drive again due to my ICD heart implant. They could not believe all the pasta and tomatoes I purchased to prepare all the various dishes that will be reviewed before printing my ideas in this column. Now I have a choice of at least ten different ways to prepare pasta with tomatoes and then write about my experience. Eating Well, August 2005 and La Cicina Italiana, October 2011 are two good sources for tomato ideas.
So how does Linguine con polpa fresca in dadolata sound? Italian enough for you? This dish takes 20 minutes to prepare and is called in English Linguine with fresh chopped tomatoes. Sounds easy enough to prepare so let us go with this dish.
Some Fine sea salt.
2¾ pounds tomatoes like on the vine or heirloom tomatoes.
9 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 fresh basil leaves, torn if large
1 small garlic clove, gently smashed and peeled
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
ONE pound of linguine
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add tomatoes to the boiling water and cook 30 Seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatoes to a bowl (reserve pot of water, covered and removed from heat), then peel and cut in half lengthwise; cut out and discard cores. Seed tomatoes halves, discard the seeds. Cut tomatoes into ¼ inch pieces. In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil and basil. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Return salted water to a boil.
In a large skillet combine remaining 7 tablespoons oil, garlic and thyme; heat over medium heat until oil begins to bubble, and then add tomato mixture, ½ teaspoon salt and generous pinch pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a simmer, cook 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Remove and discard garlic.
Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente, then drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add sauce and toss to combine well. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve the 4 servings immediately.
Now my second dish idea is spaghetti con pomodori al forno or spaghetti with oven roasted tomatoes.
These two dishes are easy to prepare.
Once again find some fine sea salt.
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley.
2 ½ pounds of mixed tomatoes, including plum, vine, heirloom, cherry, grape and or currant tomatoes Cut them into ¼-inch-thick rounds
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus more for serving
1 pound spaghetti
½ cup basil leaves, large leaves torn.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F with rack in middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Getting the water boiling takes time so do it first.
Spread onion and parsley onto prepared baking sheet, season with ¼ teaspoon salt. Arrange tomato pieces in a single layer over onion mixture. Season with oregano and ¼ teaspoon salt, and then drizzle with oil. Bake until tomatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
When tomatoes are 5 minutes from being done, cook pasta in the boiling water until done (remove tomatoes from oven when done and transfer pan to wire rack to cool slightly). Drain and transfer pasta to a large serving bowl. Add tomato mixture and ½ of the basil. Gently toss to combine, and then adjust seasoning to taste. Serve immediately, garnished with remaining basil and an extra drizzle of oil.
Have a Happy
Larry Eiker is a Kennett resident who enjoys traveling all over the world and experiencing great food, while bringing some of those ideas back home to the Bootheel to share with others.