Sunday, 22 July 2007

pasta alla checca

If you go to the market just across the road at about half twelve on a saturday you can get some stupendous bargains. Yesterday we bought over 4kg of extremely ripe, sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes for €1. Some of these we have cooked to make what will be a cherry tomato passata, by bunging them into the pressure cooker for literally 2 minutes. Their skins have all popped off neatly leaving gently cooked whole skinless tomatoes, ready for making sauce with at a later date. Others are in the fridge awaiting their later destiny in salads, panzanella, bruschetta etc.

For lunch though, arriving back from the market sweltering hot and hungry, we made Spaghetti alla Checca.

(for 2)
Chop about half a kilo of very ripe tomatoes as finely as possible. You can de-skin first if you wish but there's no real need. Chop two fat cloves of garlic even more finely. Place in a bowl with a sprinkling of salt, pour a little olive oil over and throw in some fresh basil, torn up into tiny pieces. Leave it for an hour or two, if you're not so hungry you can't wait.

Once you've cooked & drained your spaghetti throw them into the bowl with the raw tomato mixture and mix very well, adding another slosh of oil if it looks a bit dry and letting the heat of the pasta just slightly warm the sauce. Eat quickly with some pecorino grated over and a glass of some cheap & cheerful chilled white wine. If you have made more sauce than you need, it makes a good bruschetta too.

Then we had a lovely colourful summer fruit salad (white peaches, yellow plums, apricots, melon, watermelon with a bit of lemon juice over). Happy days. And off to the beach after with friends for a lazy late afternoon swim, followed eventually by a seafood dinner at a beach restaurant under a starry sky.


TrentToffee said...

4kg's of *good* tomatoes for 70+p. It's not fair. You can't buy decent tomatoes for love nor money in this country.

I think I'd crumble a bit of dried chilli into the tomatoe mix. Just to give it a bit of a kick.

de vertalerin said...

Heh, you could write a book about Roman food as well as Roman football.