I am very happy today, as I finally found somebody that will take care of creating my logo! I really wanted to have one but I am so terrible in design that I could not dare doing it myself. Step by step, everything is gaining its shape… To celebrate this little achievement, today I decided to grant me a little, juicy treat : spaghetti al pomodoro fresco – spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce. It was so good I decided to share my delight with you.
When it comes to this dish, what I always say is: you might not be able to buy happiness, but you can certainly buy all ingredients to prepare spaghetti, and you’ll be close enough to heaven.
If it’s true that this dish represent – sometimes in a stereotypical way – the essence of italianità, it is equally true that preparing it is not easy at it is seems! Endless variations characterize this recipe, in an infinite quest for the perfect balance of flavors, the right creaminess and sweetness, starting from the choice of the most suitable type of tomato. In fact, as it happens in the most essential recipes, the ingredients are so basic that a simple mistake in the preparation will be impossible to hide. While I am sure that the perfect solution does not exist, and cooking is closer to art than to science as far as it concerns personal style and preferences, there are some aspects to take into account.
So, how to prepare fulfilling spaghetti al pomodoro and make you friends and family happy?
The tomatoes: the best you can choose from are ciliegini, datterini, or San Marzano. I usually use ciliegini, love them for their sweet rich flavor and their juicy consistency. I know we are not in the best season for tomatoes, but I didn’t want to use canned tomatoes. I searched at the farmers’ market and I tasted many different ones until I was at least partially satisfied. Regarding the preparation, I was used to smashing them and cook them, but I recently read an interview to chef Peppe Guida which made me rethink that. He smashes just half tomatoes and mixes the other half with an electric mixer by reducing it to a puree. I am doing it too now and the sauce gains in creaminess. It is also important not to overcook the sauce, as it has to maintain a fresh aspect.
The oil: I use an extra virgin olive oil from Puglia with a very robust taste. It marries perfectly with the sweetness of ciliegini. In general, an oil with a pretty strong taste is better than a delicate one.
The quantities: to guarantee the right balance between nutrient elements and calories, the right portion is about 80 gr (3 oz) spaghetti.
Act like an Italian: don’t cut spaghetti with a knife or use a spoon, but twirl ’em around your fork!
If you really are into spaghetti, don’t miss this recipe.
Ingredients (2 servings)
160 gr (approx 6 oz) spaghetti
400 gr (2 2/3 cups) cherry tomatoes
a clove of garlic
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
a pinch of salt
some basil leaves
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic. Cook, shaking the pan a few times, until garlic becomes golden and it releases its aroma, then remove it.
Blend half tomatoes in an electric mixer until obtaining a puree; put it aside. In the meantime move the other half in the skillet and smash them with a wooden spoon; cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
Incorporate the puree into the smashed tomatoes. Add some chopped basil leaves and cook, stirring for approximately 5 minutes. Season with salt and taste to adjust.
In the meantime, heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until 2 minutes before what indicated on the package. Drain the pasta and stir into skillet with the sauce for 2 minutes until coated. Remove from heat and drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with some basil leaves.
Spaghetti al pomodoro fresco
- 160 gr (approx 6 oz) spaghetti
- 400 gr (2 2/3 cups) cherry tomatoes
- a clove of garlic
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- a pinch of salt
- some basil leaves
- Step 1 Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Step 2 Add garlic and cook until golden, then remove it.
- Step 3 Blend half tomatoes in an electric mixer until obtaining a puree.
- Step 4 Move the other half in the skillet and smash them with a wooden spoon
- Step 5 Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
- Step 6 Incorporate the puree with the smashed tomatoes.
- Step 7 Add some chopped basil leaves and cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
- Step 8 Season with salt and taste to adjust.
- Step 9 Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Step 10 Add pasta and cook it until 2 minutes before what indicated on the package.
- Step 11 Drain the pasta.
- Step 12 Stir into skillet with the sauce for 2 minutes until coated.
- Step 13 Remove from heat and drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Step 14 Sprinkle with some basil leaves.