Last night's dinner was the solid, tangible, abundant reward of my efforts in the Cantina Garden. The recipe is adapted from one in Jamie Oliver's Jamie At Home cookbook, and, in his own words, is "dead simple, and an absolute celebration of the summer months." Don't bother, though, unless you've got access to good, fresh from the garden ingredients.

  • 1 pound dried fusilli (or any pasta you prefer)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 T. butter, cubed
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • a large bunch of mixed soft fresh herbs (like green and purple basil, marjoram, flat-leaf parsley, thyme tips, chives, baby arugula and oregano), leaves picked, a few baby leaves reserved, the rest roughly chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds mixed cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped (I just halved the small ones, and quartered the larger ones)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • a block of Parmesan cheese, for grating
Pour some boiling water from the kettle into a pan over the heat and add the pasta and some salt. Place a large metal or earthenware bowl on top of the pan. Put the butter, balsamic vinegar and chopped herbs in the bowl and warm until the butter has melted. Now squeeze in the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, then remove the bowl from the pan and put to one side. Give the pasta a stir.

With clean hands, really scrunch the tomatoes and all the flavors in the bowl together. Have a little taste and decide whether they need some more seasoning or vinegar.

When the pasta is cooked according to the package instructions, drain it in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water. Tip the pasta into the bowl with your tomatoes and stir the sauce into the pasta. Drizzle with a good glug of extra virgin olive oil, loosen with some of the reserved cooking water if need be, and sprinkle over the reserved baby herb leaves. Serve with a block of Parmesan for grating over. Lovely with some olives thrown in.

I felt very "complete" after this meal, my "void" entirely satisfied by its abundance!
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Reviewed by juragan asem
Published :
Rating : 4.5