Last week I went shopping for supplies and found the most gorgeous looking Cherry Tomatoes so of COURSE I had to use them in my most favourite food – pasta!
Originally, I had the concept of a sort of Arrabbiata – Aglio Oglio mix in mind (Red sauces are my fave, and they’re also much healthier than white sauces), but I did some research and decided to make my version of a ‘Quick Fix Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes and Roast Garlic‘. I like to chuck different ingredients together and see what happens, rather than rigidly following a recipe (nothing wrong with that either, I just prefer experimenting on my own). I don’t use specific quantities, I just go on instinct, so in case any of you needs exact measurements, I used this recipe as a guideline – ‘Pasta with Roasted Garlic and Cherry Tomatoes’.
Here’s what happened:
Basil (fresh, if you can, but I used dried Basil)
Salt (to season)
Black Pepper (to season)
Wholewheat Spaghetti (even the regular variety will do)
Chop the Cherry Tomatoes in half. Crush the peeled Garlic cloves with the side of a knife, OR if you feel like having some fun, cover the cloves with a napkin and whack them with a rolling pin. Put the Cherry Tomatoes and Garlic in a bowl together and coat with Olive Oil. Add about a teaspoon of dried/fresh Basil and Chili Flakes/Paprika according to your preference. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Now, add this to a non-stick pan and put it to cook over a slow flame. Don’t pre-heat the pan, let it heat up and cook slowly so that the Garlic and Chili Flakes/Paprika infuse into the Olive Oil. Don’t stir, just give the pan an occasional shake to make sure nothing catches.
Once the Cherry Tomatoes begin to look wilted and start releasing their juices, you’ll know you’re on the right track. The Olive Oil will take on a lovely light red from the Chili Flakes/Paprika and the Garlic should become a soft, golden hue. Keep tasting the sauce as it’s cooking and add extra seasoning if you think it’s required. It should have a mild sweetness from the Cherry Tomatoes, a short sharpness from the Garlic and heat from the Chili Flakes/Paprika. Let it simmer on a low flame until you see the entire pan start to bubble up. Then, take the sauce off the heat, cover the pan and set it aside.
Cook the pasta according to instructions on the packet. Usually, I put the water to boil, then add salt to it and dunk the pasta til it’s cooked al dente. Again, keep checking the pasta if you’re afraid of overcooking or under-cooking it.
Drain the pasta and add the sauce to it immediately. Mix with pasta tongs and serve hot. Add some fresh Parsley and/or grated Cheese to garnish and ta-da, you have a fancy, delicious dish!
If you try this out at home and have feedback, please let me know! Happy Eating!