I love it when cooking makes you get your hands dirty. That a pasta fork is not sufficient to mush and meld and marry your ingredients. You have to unapologetically dig in, enjoying every squishy and slippery moment. It’s time for you to truly connect to your food.
This recipe came from my good friend Greg, who now gets his moment in the wannafoodie (lime)light. Technically, he’s jumping the queue of other recipes waiting for their moment but this was a great addition and I didn’t want to wait to share it. In reading his recipe, I see his food philosophies mirror my own in many ways… very little measuring, lots of feeling rather than thinking and ridiculously amusing analogies to his actions.
Since there is no cooking, aside from boiling that water, the resulting dish depends so much more on good ingredients. So, get the good stuff – ripe tomatoes, beautiful olive oil and a wedge of parmesan… or your attempt at this will only pale in comparison to how wonderful it COULD have been.
Greg’s Fresh Pasta
*Depending on how many you need to feed, you can adjust accordingly.
1/2 pound / 1/2 packet spaghetti
2 pounds / 2 bags cocktail or cherry tomatoes
50g / whole lotta fresh basil
Olive oil… 1/3 cup or so…
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
Put your spaghetti on to boil. In the eight minutes that it takes for it to reach al dente, you will be ready to mix and eat.
If using cherry tomatoes, cut in half. If cocktail, cut into quarters. I ended up with cocktail tomatoes after falling in love with these zebra tomatoes at the farmer’s market that morning… that and my “party pack” of basil that made the farmer laugh. Toss into a large bowl. Tear your fresh basil and add in. Greg says, “add a bunch of glugs of olive oil” at this point… so do that. I added probably a 1/3 of a cup of good cold pressed, fruity, greenish olive oil. Finely chop your garlic and add this in. Now season with your salt and pepper. Last, a drizzle of vinegar over everything. I used balsamic because I absolutely love it and have about six or seven different kinds but Greg used red and/or wine vinegar… so go with what you have or are so inclined to use.
Now it is time to “squish the crap out of everything.” So get to it! Roll up your sleeves, put on that apron (if you didn’t already) or say goodbye to that shirt… squish and mush and mix. I have a feeling that these tomatoes are pulverized in Greg’s wake but he warns to watch for tomato squirts (there was another amusing analogy used here… ask me and I’ll tell you what he likened this to). I’m sure that I was a bit delicate with mine… mostly because the zebra ones were quite firm and they didn’t quite get the message that I was the boss.
Greg would have added in some thinly sliced spicy Italian sausage at this point. The only reason that I didn’t is because I forgot to grab some from the grocery… but I think that is what I will do with the leftovers, so that I’m not eating the same meal three or four times over.
*ding* Your pasta is cooked. Test it. Drain it, then dump it over the tomato mixture. Mix again. I used my hands here too… It was way easier and infinitely more enjoyable than the mediocre job that my pasta fork was doing.
Grate lots of fresh parmesan over your dish and eat.