6 Sep 2013

The essence of summer - Linguine and my favourite (easy peasy) fresh tomato pesto

Fresh Tomato Pesto 1

As I am sure I have mentioned on countless occasions, my family make pasta for a living.  They make pasta, I eat pasta, it is a pretty sweet deal.  In fact I eat pasta a lot - Sophia Loren's quote 'everything you see, I owe to Spagetti' sums me up nicely (but perhaps without the glamour and incredible cleavage)!  
But I realised that, despite cooking pasta several times a week, I have taken it for granted.  The dishes never get photographed and they certainly don't get celebrated.  So I am going to attempt to rectify this - in the manner of Elise Cripe and her 40 Pizza Project - I want to embrace a year of pastas.  Forty different pasta dishes is really just the dream goal!

Fresh Tomato Pesto 3

Pasta Number 1: Fresh tomatoes and Linguine

I love Linguine.  It is the one kind of pasta you are guaranteed to find in this house any time day or night.  It is like the handyman of the pasta world, there are few things it cannot do.  Linguine is the length of Spaghetti but is slightly flattened giving it an elliptical shape so sauce clings more readily to it and making it peasy to twizzle onto your fork.  The name Linguine actually means little tongues although in reality I feel the length would be alarming for a tongue. 

During the Summer months my favourite way to eat pasta is with a fresh tomato sauce and these pasta tongues are just perfect for slipping around in a mix of fragrant tomato and olive oil (although a Pappardelle or Rigatone wouldn't be bad either).

The best bit of this pasta dish?  The sauce takes as long to prepare as the pasta takes to cook!

Fresh Tomato Pesto 5

(Serves 2)

Linguine pasta (2-3 nests)
Fresh tomatoes; either a couple big beef tomatoes or 5-6 if they are a smaller salad variety.   (The tastiness of the sauce depend  wholly on the quality of the tomatoes; good tomatoes are typically rich in colour and have a strong smell)
A handful of fresh basil
A big fat clove of garlic or two smaller ones
Olive oil
A splash of balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
Fresh pecorino or parmesan cheese to serve

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Put a pan of water on to boil.  Whilst waiting for the water to boil, using a blender or a food processor first blend the garlic down, then add the tomatoes, the basil and the splash of balsamic vinegar and blend until soupy.  Add a generous glug or two of olive oil and salt to taste. 

When the water is boiling chuck in the pasta and cook according to the packet or for three minutes if using fresh pasta.  Once cooked, drain well then pour the tomato sauce on and quickly dish up.  Grate cheese liberally all over!

Fresh Tomato Pesto 6 Fresh Tomato Pesto 10 Fresh Tomato Pesto 8

Best enjoyed outside :)

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