Saturday, 4 June 2011

Spaghetti with 5-minute tomato sauce

This is a delicious pasta recipe that's just perfect for this time of year when you want something a bit fresher and lighter than a heavy pasta bake. The lovely summery flavour comes from the fresh tomatoes so it's definitely worth trying to make the most of the British varieties as they arrive in the shops over the next few weeks. The soft tomatoes are complimented by the hint of garlic and salty pancetta in the background and the whole dish is finished off perfectly by the bright, tangy goats cheese.

I should say that the title, "5-minute tomato sauce" is a little misleading as it doesn't account for the fairly lengthy and messy process of skinning, deseeding and chopping the tomatoes. It's a bit of a chore but definitely worth the effort and when done you are just minutes away from putting your feet up with a delicious dinner.

Spaghetti with 5-minute tomato sauce
(adapted from Good Food Magazine, September 2005)

5 large ripe tomatoes
140g/5oz spaghetti (This never seems like much for two so I use 6oz)
3 tbsp olive oil
100g/4oz diced bacon or lardons (the little plastic tubs of pancetta work really well)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
50-85g/2-3oz soft fresh rindless goat's cheese
handful basil and/or snipped chives

1) Pour boiling water over the tomatoes to cover, leave for 1 minute, then drain and slip off the skins. Quarter and seed the tomatoes, then chop the flesh.

2) Bring a large pan of salter water to the boil, add the spaghetti and give it a stir. Cook as per the instructions on the packet.

3) Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan, add the bacon and fry until starting to crisp up. Add the garlic, tomatoes, the rest of the oil and pepper and salt if using. Heat through for 1-2 minutes until just simmering.

4) Drain the spaghetti and add to the pan, tossing in the sauce until lightly coated. Divide between two warm soup plates, crumble over the cheese and scatter over the herbs. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of red wine.

Serves 2

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