As you may or may not have noticed, throughout the week lunch is often the proper meal in our house.
You may also have noticed it is very often pasta.
I say proper in the sense that it’s the meal we – a nocturnal musician and erratic teacher – who would both rather work late than rise early – are nearly always together for, the one we cook together, occasionally argue over, the one we try to linger over, at least for a while. It’s all usally pretty simple. but then I prefer my pasta that way. I prefer my life that way.
This is another trusted favourite, hearty but clean and fresh, perfect for balmy days and all the luscious red, tomato shaped, and basil scented produce June is providing.
It is perfectly simple. And quite delicious. And barely cooked.
Well, that is not entirely true, there is a little cooking involved but I will come to that in a minute.
Ingredients are nicely basic, but need to be really really top notch otherwise it will be disappointing,
- 4 large, ripe, really flavoursome tomatoes
- a red onion, peeled and sliced in half-moons
- 5 or so torn basil leaves
- some good olive oil.
- 200g good spaghetti
- Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil to dribble over pasta
- extra basil leaves for on top if you so wish.
First you plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for about a minute and then you plunge them into cold water, pull them out and the skins should come away easily. Cut away the hard cental core and then chop the tomatoes into unruly chunks.
Bring a large pan of well salted water to a fast boil. Meanwhile in a shallow pan, saute the half-moons of red onions in some extra virgin olive oil, slowly and gently over a low flame for about 15 minutes, until they are soft and just starting to caramelize. Now you add the unruly chunks of peeled, deseeded tomatoes and the torn basil leaves to the onion and raise the heat for just a couple of minutes, stirring and turning so the tomatoes are, well, barely cooked.
Meanwhile, you have been cooking your pasta - garofalo spaghetti alla chitarra is great for this – until it is al dente.
Drain pasta, toss with onion, tomato and basil
Serve in warm bowls with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan and more olive oil.
Eat, linger if possible.