Sometimes all I fancy for dinner is a simple bowl of pasta, with a tasty and easy to make sauce. This is the perfect summertime dish, which uses those homegrown or market bought seasonal tomatoes.
Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour
Cookware: Large frying pan, pasta pan, small roasting tray
Oven: 200C / Gas 6
This photo shows my homemade tagliatelle but more often than not I use dried pasta.
- 150g spaghetti / linguine
- 150g cherry / plum tomatoes – halved
- sprigs of thyme / oregano / rosemary
- 2 garlic cloves – finely sliced
- 2 shallots – finely diced
- 200g tin tomatoes
- 1 tbsp capers – chopped if large
- 50g sun-dried tomatoes in oil – roughly chopped
- chilli, to taste (fresh or flakes)
- basil leaves
- pine nuts / pistachios – dry toasted (optional)
- parmesan – grated
- salt flakes and pepper
- olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas 6.
Place the tomato halves on the roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and dot with herbs. Roast for approximately 20 minutes, then put aside.
Heat a tbsp of olive oil in the frying pan, add the shallots and sauté on a low heat for 8 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté with the shallots for 2 minutes to release aromas but do not burn!
Add the tinned tomatoes, capers, chilli and a few herbs to the frying pan. Cook together on a medium heat for 10 minutes. When the sauce reduces, add a splash of water. After 10 minutes, add the sun-dried tomatoes plus a generous tbsp of their oil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Whilst the sauce is simmering, cook your pasta, of choice, as per instructions. Once cooked, drain the pasta but save a cup of the cooking water. This helps to emulsify the sauce and coat the pasta strands.
Add 50ml of pasta water to the pasta pan, a pinch of salt, a splash of olive oil and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and add the sauce, roasted tomatoes and spaghetti. Combine well, coating the pasta with the sauce whilst gently heating. Try not to break the roasted tomatoes too much.
Spoon into warmed pasta bowls and top with basil leaves, parmesan and toasted nuts, if using. A dressed green or cooked courgette salad are good accompaniments.
If your frying pan is larger than your pasta pan, combine the finished dish in the frying pan by adding a splash of both pasta water and olive oil to your sauce. Mix well then add the drained pasta plus roasted tomatoes. Over a low heat, combine all ingredients using tongs / pasta spoons. Add a splash of pasta water, if needed, to emulsify, then serve.