Tuesday 6 September 2016

Troccoli fresh pasta with basil and tomato sauce, and stracciatella cheese

5 minutes to prepare Serves 4



Making sauce from fresh summer tomatoes has long been an insecurity of mine, despite years of cooking experience.

The reason why:
First, the sauce should taste like it was made from fresh tomatoes, which means it should have the bright, fruity aroma and flavor of uncooked fruit. But it is difficult to find, recognise and choose the right tomatoes, and the period they are available is pretty short, approximately from July to August.
Second, my mother makes the best tomato sauce I ever tasted. No matter how many times I have tried, I am not able to emulate the result perfectly. Once it comes out too sweet, once it is too watery...grrrr!

Anyway, we are not here to achieve perfection. Fussiness is not going to make us less hungry tonight.
So, you find in the following the fresh tomato sauce as I make it.
Just one advice: there are many, many ways to make very good tomato sauce, but taking the time to prepare it using fresh tomatoes is the key to creating a balanced, rich, and layered sauce that tastes both fresh yet also deep and complex.

Exactly how you use the sauce will determine final steps: today, for instance, we will finish the pasta in a pan with the sauce, adding a little Stracciatella cheese on top, to enrich the dish flavor.
Otherwise, you may try this tomato sauce alone, even without cheese, if you are not able to find it.
Or better, you don't even really need the pasta. Just grab a spoon.

Here are ingredients for the 4-serving recipe:


400 g pasta
1 kg San Marzano plum tomatoes
10 basil leaves
200 g Stracciatella cheese
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion
EVO oil
salt and pepper

  1. Wash tomatoes and cut them into chunks. Dump them all - cores, skins, stems, seeds - into a pot filled with water, and set over high heat until they come to a boil. Let them boil for 5 minutes, just long enough to soften the pulp, then drain them
  2. Make the tomatoes to pass through a food mill or vegetable strainer. The food mill, a simple, old-fashioned tool, is an easy and efficient way to strain seeds and skins from tomato purée. In Italian the watery, fresh tomato purée you will obtain is called a passata ("passed")
  3. Pour 2 tablespoons of EVO oil in a pan and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic glove and the onion, chopped
  4. Once they have become golden, remove the clove and pour the tomato purée into the pan. Add a pinch of salt, basil leaves and cook for 15 minutes. Place a lid on top to avoid having to clean the whole kitchen afterwards, but be careful to let the vapour to come out: you want to get rid of all of purée excess water
  5. Meanwhile, cook the fresh pasta in boiling salted water
  6. Drain Troccoli pasta al dente. Add pasta to the sauce and season it with salt - if needed - and pepper according to your taste
  7. Serve with an abundant spoon of Stracciatella cheese on top

Nutrition Facts are listed for this recipe in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

La passata di pomodoro*

*The tomato passata

No comments:

Post a Comment