If you cannot stand the heat…
… no need to stay out of the kitchen.
Try this dish instead, and you’ll be glad you did…
There are only a few ingredients: tomatoes, olive oil and herbs, so they need to be good quality. I repeat this mantra quite a bit, but it makes all the difference in the world. We had several tomatoes from the farmer’s market laying around the kitchen, ripe and juicy. And this weekend we’ll bring home lots more, so I wanted to use them. After biking from work at 105 F, we needed something fresh and light, but substantial enough to replenish our energies. Pasta with fresh tomato sauce was it!
You’ll find recipes for uncooked tomato sauce in every Italian cookbook, and on countless websites. I’ll show you how I made it, following a basic method that can be adjusted to your taste and the fresh herbs you have handy. I go through the trouble of peeling the tomatoes, but you can skip this step if you don’t like doing it. It won’t be as luscious, though… 😉
PASTA WITH UNCOOKED TOMATO SAUCE
(receita em portugues ao final do texto!)
tomatoes (ripe and gorgeous)
olive oil (the best you can find)
fresh basil leaves
fresh mint leaves
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes (optional)
Peel the tomatoes (click here if you want a quick lesson), remove most of the seeds. Cut them in large chunks and place in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add a bunch of basil and mint leaves, some thyme, drizzle olive oil all over, season with salt and pepper.
Process by pulsing the machine on a few times. You want to retain the tomato in pieces (see my photo after the jump). Add red pepper flakes to taste. Allow the tomato/herb mixture to sit in a bowl while you cook the pasta. I like fettuccine or spaghetti.
Once the pasta cooks, drain it quickly, add to a serving bowl and mix in the cold tomato sauce. Serve immediately. The contrast of the hot pasta with the cold sauce is a great gastronomic experience!
In this photo you see the consistency that I look for. The food processor does a better job than a blender, so if you only have a blender available, be careful and don’t let it too get soupy. The tomatoes will generate liquid as they sit; you can leave some behind and use it later as part of a salad dressing.
For the two of us, I used 5 tomatoes. You can judge how many you need according to how much pasta you will be cooking. I’ve made many versions of this sauce, adding capers, fresh oregano, balsamic vinegar, and topping the dish with kalamata olives or crumbled goat cheese. The flavor of rosemary goes very well, but I don’t care for its texture in this kind of dish. If you have rosemary-infused olive oil, I am sure it would be delicious drizzled on top. Enjoy!
MACARRAO AO MOLHO DE TOMATE FRESCO
Uma receita perfeita para o verao!
tomates maduros e suculentos
azeite de oliva de excelente qualidade
folhas de manjericao
folhas de hortela
sal e pimenta do reino a gosto
pimenta vermelha (opcional)
Tire a pele dos tomates, retire a maior parte das sementes. Corte os tomates em pedacos e coloque num processador. Adiicione as folhas de manjericao, hortela, tomilho, regue com um pouco de azeite e processe por alguns segundos apenas, mantendo os tomates em pedacos (como na foto no post em ingles). Tempere com sal e pimenta, adicione pimenta vermelha se preferir mais apimentado.
Deixe que o molho descanse enquanto cozinha o macarrao. Gosto de usar fettuccine ou spaghetti para esse tipo de receita. Quando o macarrao estiver no ponto, escorra e jogue ainda bem quente sobre o molho frio.