Monday, 18 October 2010

Pasta with Tomato and Basil Sauce


With simple, basic sauces such as the tomato and basil sauce it's all, ALL about the ingredients. You want to use those tomatoes which are too soft, the ones that have lied in your vegetable bowl or fridge drawer a few days too long. For any sauces or soups these are the best so never discard of them, just learn how to make use of them. This is a delicious super quick recipe, perfect for an easy dinner in front of the TV or lunch. 


Serves 2

200g pasta, cooked al dente

Tomato and Basil Sauce:
2tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
6 large, soft wine tomatoes, skin removed and blanched
50g tinned tomatoes, chopped up
1 tbsp tomato puree
pinch of sugar
10g butter
salt and pepper
handful of basil leaves

Cook the pasta in salted water according to instructions on packaging. Make sure it is cooked al dente. 

Making the sauce:
1. Blanch, deseed and chop the tomatoes.(detailed description below)
2. Put the olive oil into a saucepan on medium heat and add the chopped shallots and sweat for a few minutes. 
2. Add the garlic and after about 30 sec add the chopped tomatoes. 
3. Stir around and let cook for 3 min and then add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree and pinch of sugar.
4. Cook for 5-10 min, season with salt and pepper and a knob of butter. It gives it a lovely shine and rich but still fresh flavor. Add the chopped basil just before serving. 
5. Put in the cooked pasta into the sauce, stir around making sure all the pasta is coated with sauce and serve up on plates, decoration with a basil sprig. 




Blanching and deseeding tomatoes:
1. Start off by bringing a saucepan of water to boil.
2. Make a cross with a knife on the top of the tomatoes.
3. Put them into the boiling water for 10 seconds. 
4. Now remove them a transfer to ice water. This process is called blanching. 
5. Now peel off the skin and remove the core. Cut the tomatoes into quarters.
6. Remove the seeds and you'll be left with tomato "petals".
7. Chop them quite roughly but still into rather small pieces.

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