Monday, November 24, 2014

Penette E Pomodorini D'O Piennulo (Pasta with Tomatoes and basil)

Penette E Pomodorini D'O Piennulo 

(Pasta with Tomatoes and basil)

I used to think I make a decent Tomato based pasta be it the Arrabbiata or just a normal Tomato based Pasta . Well in my defense the sauce would mostly turn out flavourful and ever since I discovered al dente pasta I would in fact think I was creating quite the Italian dish in my kitchen.

Then one day I finally invested in La Cucina one of the best Classic Italian cookbooks of all times. You see I started cooking from a very tender age and to be able to afford a good book it does take a bit time. Your mid 20s are very different from your late teens. Anyway the point is I somehow believe that the mark of any good restaurant, cookbook or for that matter a cook lies in how he or she makes the most basic of dishes. Which is why I chose one of the simplest dishes of all times,

Now in these modern times when cooks can't seem to find their way around the kitchen with step by step photographs this classic book is quite the opposite. It has tons of exquisite recipes but not even one photograph which is quite fine by me. In fact you won't even find most of these recipes over the internet.

Well I am kind of an old fashioned world. People often ask me why a 25 year old (almost 26) would want to spend hours in the kitchen for a dish . Here is the thing I want to learn the characters of the dishes I cook and a dish's character can be traced back to its cuisine.

So if you really want to learn Italian cuisine a good old classic book is essential.

Anyway coming back to our recipe I was quite startled for a the technique used was completely different than not only what I usually use but what is mostly shared far and wide from across continents and chefs.

Now I somehow tend to be passionate and so I passionately believe that a cookbook brought by by the Culinary Acedemy of Italy will not leave any scope for mistakes. Period.

So I went about doing exactly what they had asked to. In the end I was dumbstruck. I have been to some of the fine dine restaurants of India in both Calcutta , Mumbai and Delhi and never have I tasted a tomato based pasta which had so much of flavour and the colour was the colour of passion, a deep red that I could romance with romance in my head  just by looking at it.

So here is what you need :-

Recipe :from La Cucina . Before I begin I must admit that for when I cooked the tomato sauce I halved the recipe and used half the time for cooking and being on an extreme low carb diet I used very little pasta and kept most of the sauce for later use. I am sharing the original recipe exactly as was given and I suggest you don't alter it.

1 lb Penne Pasta
1/2 lb ripe plump tomatoes blanced and skinned
1 large clove of garlic , minced
Pinch of chili flakes / Half a ripe red chili
Several Basil leaves chopped
Salt for taste
2/3rd cup EXtra Virgin Olive Oil

Chop the skinned tomatoes. Place the minced garlic and finely chopped chili with the oil and let it slowly brown . Once its browned take out the garlic and chili and add the chopped tomatoes and add salt and cook on high heat for 15 minutes stirring it and pressing it down with a masher or back of a big spatula from time time time.

While the sauce is cooking bring a pot of  water to a boil on another stove with a pinch of salt and add the pasta and cook till al dente and once done add it to the sauce and mix well and add some basil and serve.

I can promise you this is the most flavourful tomato based pasta ever.

The reserved Tomato 

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