tomato pasta sauce + 10 variations to spice it up
June 27, 2012 in Pasta
I made a tomato pasta sauce with well-renowned and fabulous Nina Timm at her home earlier today. What an honour and absolute delight to meet and spend a day with this amazing woman! Yip, she is the wonder behind the much followed www.my-easy-cooking.com blog. We laughed, we cooked and shared so many stories from our past and talked about the thrills of living in today…. I will be chatting to her tomorrow on her RSG radio broadcast between 9 and 10 am and share what we did today. I am so inspired and so alive … Nina I thank you for one of the best days of my life and to cooking up many more memories in the future!
Back to the sauce … I am a freakishly mad about tomatoes. So obviously my most favourite pasta sauce is a tomato-based sauce … made from fresh, ripe, juicy tomatoes that brim with flavour. I read about this method to make tomato sauce a few years ago in a magazine – unfortunately I cannot remember or find the magazine between the thousands of foodie magazines lying around in my house – please try this, it is definitely the most delicious tomato sauce you will ever taste!!
Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
900g Rosa tomatoes
200ml Olive oil – good quality (I know this sounds a lot but the tomatoes burst open to combine with the olive oil, garlic and basil – and creates the most amazing sauce )
8 Garlic cloves – peeled but kept in whole segments
Handful fresh Basil
Salt and black pepper
150 – 200g Fresh parmesan cheese – shaved with potato peeler
500g Penne pasta (or spaghetti)
1. Add the olive oil to a large pan / pot and add the garlic and about one handful of torn basil leaves. Heat the oil very slowly on low-medium – we want to infuse the oil with the garlic and basil. Infuse for about 5 minutes – please don’t burn the garlic.
2. Add all the tomatoes, turn up the heat to medium high and cook for +- 20 minutes without the saucepan lid.
3. You will see the tomatoes will start to burst open and infuse with the olive oil.
4. Season generously with salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Please be sure to taste when you season!
5. Just before serving, add the rest of the basil and sprinkle generously with shaved parmesan
6. You can use the sauce just as is or see the 10 variations below you can add at the end for an interesting twist.
10 Variations you can add to the tomato sauce + remember always sprinkle generously with shaved parmesan!
1) Cut chorizo sausages in slices and add – this makes it a rich and spicy dish.
2) Bacon (+ chilies optional) – everyone loves bacon! Adding a somewhat smoky flavour to your pasta.
3) Meatballs – you can make this on Sunday and just add in the week to your pasta dish.
4) Lots of fresh chopped chilies – simple, yet always deliciously and one of my favourites.
5) Capers + olives + anchovies + chilies – my absolute favourite!
6) Any seafood – prawns, calamari, fish, mussels – add them to the tomato based sauce at the end of the cooking process – let it simmer through for 5 minutes – taste for seasoning again after you have added any seafood.
7) Fresh herbs (basil, parsley) and lots of rocket – mix it with the sauce – yum.
8) Roasted vegetables + olives + capers + crumbled feta – these produce lovely Mediterranean tastes.
9) Artichokes, creamy feta cheese + sprinkle of dry oregano (use the oregano very sparingly).
10) Fresh slices of buffalo mozzarella + sprinkled with smoked Maldon salt.