I’ve said before on this blog that nobody – and I mean nobody – does simplicity in food like the Italians. I’ve mentioned it before in my Venetian Bigoli recipe, Italians will take very few ingredients that all sing together harmoniously and utilise them in the simplest yet most effective way. In fact, looking at my list of recipes (oh yes I keep a list and it is THOUSANDS of pages long) the majority of my simplest meals have trickled down (or should I say over?) from Italian inspiration.
This meal is no different.
This is the kind of dish I put together when I’m not one hundred percent sure of what I have in the cupboards. I’ve usually got a good stash of things in the Kitchen, but when I’m caught sideways mid-week or if I have plans in the night that would pull me away from something more laborious, a dish like this will always bubble to the surface.
There’s nothing intimidating about pasta. It’s very accommodating. I find it to be the easiest dish to cook because when the pasta is bubbling away, I can do all the other nonsense I need to do. And luckily, this dish takes not a lot more than the length it takes to boil the pasta.
Pour a kettle’s worth of hot water into a big pan and pour in your preferred pasta. I measure mine by pouring the pasta into my serving bowl first, putting a small handful back in the packet and then pouring the contents of the bowl in the water. Pasta swells so this is a quick tip for how to measure it to the crowd you’re serving – often times for me, one or two.
I use brown fussili here which usually takes about 10-11 minutes. Salt the water, give it a stir and crack on. In a frying pan, soften some halved cherry tomatoes in some garlic olive oil and salt. If you don’t have garlic oil, just use normal oil and grate in a clove of garlic. Once the tomatoes start to crack and burst open, pour in a splash of apple cider vinegar and grate in some lemon zest to create a lush, syrupy tomato sauce. Add a tiny bit of the pasta cooking water to this (we’re talking a few tablespoons – not much) and drain the pasta.
Throw the pasta in with the tomatoes before strewing in a handful of rocket leaves (from a packet) and stir so that everything is combined. Serve with a generous grating of parmesan (I use veggie – God I miss real parmesan) and some form of wine. I choose white. I don’t know the difference between posh and cheap wine so let’s just say whatever wine sounds like it could be good. Something from New Zealand, as my friend would say.