I don’t own a lot of cookbooks – I’m always tempted to purchase them and have been known to wander the food section of Williams-Sonoma aimlessly, fingering glossy pages of meringue and short ribs and paella until shop clerks start looking at me like I’m a culinary junkie/vagrant. The deal is, I know myself well, and myself rarely cooks from a book. I have several standard dishes that I know how to make by heart and can vary at a moment’s notice to mirror the contents of my pantry, and if I’m in the mood for something new, I either make it up as I go or pull a recipe off the interwebs to fit my fancy.
But, whilst exchanging wedding gifts at W-S a couple of weekends ago, I couldn’t resist throwing Great Food Fast – a Martha Stewart “Everyday Food” cookbook into my pile of items to purchase with credit. the recipes looked easy enough and I love how they are broken up into season to best compliment the weather outside your window and the produce inside your local grocery.
Since the tomatoes have been singing to me like sirens every week from the farmer’s market, I decided to give the spaghetti with three-tomato sauce a go last week. Here’s the original recipe:
- coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 lb. spaghetti
- 1/2 c. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, oil reserved
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 can (28 oz.) whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved
I substituted whole wheat torchio pasta for the spaghetti since that what I had in the pantry. I also just couldn’t pass up the fresh heirloom tomatoes, so I chopped those instead of using canned tomatoes. I didn’t remove the skin so it separated like strings in the sauce which wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing but didn’t diminish the taste!
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water; return the pasta to the pot.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the canned tomatoes (with juice) and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally and breaking up the canned tomatoes until thick, about 15 minutes.
- Add the cherry tomatoes; simmer until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add to the pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Toss, adding pasta water as desired. Serve immediately.
Ummm so this was delicious and seriously easy. Evs even forgave its lack of meat. The cherry tomatoes pretty much explode in your mouth like a freakin’ scrumptious roman candle of wonderfulness. Next time, I will use whole wheat spaghetti – I think it would go better with the consistency of the sauce. I’d also use more whole tomatoes (it looked like a lot when I was making the sauce but I could have used another great big heirloom) and I’d chop the sun-dried tomatoes (which, duh, the recipe says to do but I apparently forgot to do).
Give it a go. Do it. Like, tonight.