When Winter is finally over, and Spring is being enjoyed, all of a sudden I get a craving for Summer. Weird, isn’t it? My musings based on nostalgia (looking back) somehow have the power to stimulate future-oriented cravings in me. In this case, the yearning is for a pasta recipe that is eaten at room temperature during the season when tomatoes taste the best: i.e. Summer. I wrote a post about it I for the “Giardini di Sole” blog but unfortunately it got ‘lost’ in a technical mishap. All of us at “Giardini di Sole” (Sandy, Libby, Liz and I) love to cook , and we are not beyond the commission of excess in the kitchen department. Husbands, family and friends don’t seem to mind so I can’t see us reining in any time soon. This is Liz Macrì’s recipe.
It was one of the dishes we prepared for our Open House day in the Showroom (SOWA) in Boston in May 2013.
So, let’s take a look at the ingredients:
Fresh basil, garlic, Italian or panko type breadcrumbs, olive oil, salt, black olives (pitted), capers and anchovies packed in oil. Oh! and tomatoes, of course, the little cherry kind, cut in half, the cut half facing the ceiling. You will also need parchment paper to line the baking trays. A tip: it is not always that one has access to fabulous tasting tomatoes, so it’s not a bad idea to sprinkle a little sugar over them.
So … after liberally strewing capers, sliced garlic, sliced olives and ribbons of basil over the tomatoes, douse the tomatoes with olive oil and, finally, sprinkle a dusting of breadcrumbs.
Don’t forget to sprinkle salt. I would do this first, actually, now that I come to think about it. It’s probably best to sprinkle some salt over the tomatoes before you begin doing anything else.
Pop the trays into a preheated oven, on a fairly low heat, 120°C, and cook until they are ready. This can take any time between 40 minutes and 1 hour. It all depends on the oven and the amount of tomatoes being cooked.
And here they are, looking gorgeous, just out of the oven. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, you will have cooked some pasta and drained it when it was very much al dente. Check the packet for suggested cooking time and drain the pasta 1 minute before. Choose any kind of pasta shape so long as it is short.
After draining the pasta, spread it out evenly over a clean towel, so that it will cool down quicklier. Once cooled, drizzle some olive oil (not too much) and mix well. This is to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
If you want to eat the pasta straight away, you can do without the above step. If, however, you want to eat the pasta later in the day, or even the next day, you can store the pasta in the fridge, sealed with clingfilm. It’s best not to eat the pasta cold, so remove from the fridge at least one hour before eating.
This is the dish we brought to our Open House Day. Good food tastes even better served in beautiful plates!
And here we were, just minutes before people started coming in to our Open House, May 2013. From the left: Liz, myself, Sandy and Libby. Alanna, a close friend and staunch supporter, took this photo.