I got my hands on Ottolenghi’s new book, SIMPLE and I absolutely love how it’s been organised. Each recipe has a mnemonic:
S: short on time
I: 10 ingredients or less
M: make ahead
E: easier than you think
Such an intelligent and easy way to organise recipes! So here is one I tried out yesterday – a Spiced Cherry Tomato Pasta, it consists of very few ingredients – cherry tomato, olive oil, garlic, chilli and basil. The beauty of the Spiced Cherry Tomato Pasta is the way the cherry tomatoes are cooked down into an almost jammy and luscious sauce, that perfectly coats the pasta but doesn’t make it “saucy”. Kind of like a softened sun dried tomato tapenade – but made simply with a bulk of cherry tomato, some sliced garlic and olive oil to bring it all together.
I added a kashmiri mirchi from my pantry – while the original recipe called for an acho chilli. You can do the same, use any other dried chilli, or use any other whole dried chilli of your choice, or skip it all together.
I topped it off the Spiced Cherry Tomato Pasta with some fresh parmesan which we brought back from Emiligia Romagna – a lovely 60 month aged cheese. And some fresh basil picked from a little houseplant that my 18 month old daughter planted as a return gift from a birthday party! Food gifts are always welcome at our home 🙂
- 1 kg cherry tomato
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced lengthwise
- 50ml of olive oil
- 1 dried chilli pepper
- 10-15 leaves of basil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
- Halve the cherry tomatoes.
- In a large enough pan, heat the olive oil and let the garlic soften but not brown. Add in the tomatoes, chilli pepper and 200ml of water. Season with salt and sugar. Let it come to a boil for 4-5 minutes and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally and let the sauce cook for an hour.
- Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
- Taste the sauce, adjust seasoning if required. Stir in the basil and then the pasta. Top with some parmesan and serve. Some nice crusty bread would do wonders as an accompaniment!