Spaghetti with Garlic, Chili & Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Introduction

I was sorely tempted to show you a photograph of the empty plates follwing this dish, but that's not the point is it?

We have now stocked the Misse kitchen cupboard with oven-dried tomatoes to see us through the autumn and winter months. That will allow us to enjoy a taste of summer all year round.

I chose pecorino cheese for this recipe as it accentuates the earthy flavours of the dish.

Tips

As these tomatoes have already had most of their moisture removed, they only need to be heated. Long cooking will dry them out.

Dried or fresh pasta will work well, I like to make spaghetti alla Chitarra for a dish like this. Its uneven texture adds to the rustic quality of the dish.

Ingredients

  • 360g\12oz dried spaghetti or 540g\1½lb fresh spaghetti
  • 120g\4oz drained sun or oven-dried tomatoes stored in olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of the tomato oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 dried red chili
  • Handful of fresh basil, shredded by hand
  • Handful of parsley, chopped
  • Pecorino for grating

Circle of Misse oven-dried tomatoes

Tools of the Trade

  • A timer for the pasta

Method

Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. If you are using dried spaghetti don't trust the timing on the packet. Time for five minutes then test a strand of pasta every 30-60 seconds thereafter.

Heat the oil over a medium heat, in a pan big enough to hold the pasta, add the garlic and chili. When the garlic starts to turn light brown, lower the heat and add the tomatoes, basil, one tablespoon of the tomato oil and a pinch of salt.

Drain the pasta, keeping back ¼ cup of pasta water, add the drained pasta to tomato sauce. Add a tablespoon or two of the pasta water, some coarse freshly grated black pepper and toss the pasta for two minutes. Remove the pan from the heat source. Add the remaining two tablespoons of tomato oil, the chopped parsley and continue to toss the pasta for about a minute.

Serve with grated pecorino.

Suggestion

With the addition of chopped black olives and\or a finely chopped anchovy, this dish more closely resembles 'spaghetti alla puttanesca'.