This year I grew a lot of tomatoes. To be honest, I’m still going through them, having brought in a load of green numbers and leaving them to ripen in the central heating.
I’m also re-evaluating my relationship with food and economy in a bid to spend less in the shops and use what I have in the war cupboard. Granted, Master McDuff and I recently came back from a trip which took in Italy, so the cupboard is quite impressive at the moment.
With the tomatoes and pasta choice at the ready and a vegetarian friend coming over for lunch, I decided to make a simple tomato, fennel seed and pasta dish, which from start to table took less than half an hour. And that was even with the Aperol Spritz (it was a weekend)
Serve with a simple green salad to balance matters out a bit. Win!
Ingredients (serves four)
400g ribbony pasta
20 – 30 cherry tomatoes
Tablespoon fennel seeds
3 – 4 garlic cloves
Pecorino and or parmesan to serve (I used both, did I mention we’ve just been to Italy?)
Boil the water, adding some salt and olive oil to prevent the stickiness (love Jamie Oliver!) and add the pasta.
While this is getting ready, prepare your tomatoes by simply washing and halving them.
Crush the fennel seeds with a touch of salt in a pestle and mortar.
Peel and flatten the garlic cloves, allowing some flavour to escape.
Heat a large wide pan with olive oil and add the halved tomatoes, after they’ve turned a little mushy though still firm, add the fennel seed and salt combo and let this fuse, along with the garlic cloves.
Let all this sit together on a gentle heat, stirring occasionally for around 15 – 20 minutes, by which point the pasta will easily be ready. I added the cooked ribbons to the tomatoey pan and gently folded the mix in on itself.
Serve with some scrapings of pecorino or parmesan. Saluti!