Monday Meal: Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce | Buzz Blog

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Meal: Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce

Posted By on October 6, 2014, 6:02 AM

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Wondering what to do with our most recent harvest of heirloom tomatoes from our garden, I decided to make an uber-fresh tomato sauce for pasta. When the tomatoes are as fresh and rich tasting as those direct from the garden, you don't really need to add a lot to make a sauce with tremendous flavor. Here's how I do it. 

First, I cut the tomatoes in half, squeeze out the seeds, and grate them, skin side up, on a cheese-type grater set over a large bowl. You could also use a food mill, food processor or other method. 

Ingredients: 

2 1/2 lbs. ripe heirloom tomatoes (about 3-4 cups), seeded and grated

2 Tbs, extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 medium onion, grated or minced

1 shallot, minced

1/2 tsp. dried red chile flakes (optional)

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese, plus additional (optional) for the table

2-3 fresh basil sprigs

1 lb. dried pasta such as spaghetti, linguine, penne, etc. 

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Method: 

Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter together in a large, deep skillet or saucepan over medium heat. 

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When the butter has melted, add the onion, shallot, and pepper flakes to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. 

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Add the tomatoes and basil to the pan along with a little salt, to taste, stir well, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce thickens a bit. 

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While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to package directions, a minute or so shy of al dente. 

Drain the cooked pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. 

Remove the basil from the sauce and discard. 

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Increase the heat under the sauce to medium-high, stir in the drained pasta and toss well in the sauce. Add a little of the reserved pasta water to the pasta to loosen it up a little, if necessary. 

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Off the heat, stir in the grated cheese, remaining tablespoon of butter, and black pepper, to taste.

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Serve immediately with additional grated cheese, if desired. 

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Photos by Ted Scheffler




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