If I was a bit of a tit, I would call this “summer on a plate”. As I’m not, this is just a really good plate of pasta.
I’ve been making this raw tomato sauce on and off for years, typically when I manage to get hold of some tomatoes that taste of more than water. Even then, you’ll probably need a pinch of sugar and a good sprinkling of salt to really bring them to life. I’m pretty sure the chilli flakes are in no way authentic, but I can’t help myself – a sprinkling of chilli generally makes most things better.
In this instance, I added some very delicious burrata that I’d managed to get hold of (this ultra creamy form of buffalo mozzarella is a particular favourite). Normally, it would be some buffalo mozzarella – the way the cheese slightly melts into the hot pasta is pretty hard to beat. However, this is delicious just as it is, with no cheese at all disturbing it’s lovely fresh flavours.
Spaghetti al sugo crudo
Makes two servings
5-6 very ripe tomatoes – try and get the nicest ones you can. It will make a difference
1 clove of garlic
100ml good olive oil
150g spaghetti (or however much you want – I always always make too much pasta)
Small handful of basil leaves
Pinch of sugar
A pinch of chilli flakes
Black pepper to taste
Optional: half a ball of buffalo mozzarella
1. Start by skinning your tomatoes. The easiest way to do this is to slice a small cross in the base of each tomato and place them into a bowl or saucepan. Pour over boiling water, and leave for a couple of minutes. If your tomatoes are ripe, the action of the hot water should make it pretty easy to peel away the skins.
2. Slice the tomatoes in half and remove all of the seeds and any green core and discard. Finely chop the tomato flesh and place in a bowl. Lightly smash the garlic clove with the flat blade of a knife, remove the skin and add to the tomatoes. Add a pinch of sugar, a good grinding of salt, the chilli flakes and stir in the olive oil. Stir again vigorously until you’ve got a sort of oily tomato mush/sauce. Leave for at least an hour at room temperature to let the flavours deepen.
3. When you’re ready to eat, cook your spaghetti according to the pack instructions. Whilst your doing this, take half of the basil leaves, roughly tear and stir into the tomatoes. Fish out the garlic clove and discard.
4. When the pasta is al dente, drain lightly and combine with the sauce. If using, tear up the mozzarella and stir in, along with the rest of the basil leaves, torn up. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
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