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Saturday, 10 July 2010

Stringy Pasta

This recipe is 'dedicated' to the people that say they don't have time to cook. It takes about 15 minutes to make from scratch, it is healthy, tasty and definitely more rewarding to eat than something that has just come out of the microwave. Pretty much all the ingredients bar the mozzarella are stuff that people tend to have in their cupboard anyways, so it takes very little planning from your side. A tip on the mozzarella: you can buy it and freeze it on the day of purchase, so you will have it handy when you decide to cook this dish and won't even have to go to the shops!

INGREDIENTS (for two people)
  • 200 gr pasta (I used the cavatappi shape, but fusilli or conchiglie would also work well)
  • One tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 5 leaves of fresh basil (or you can use dried basil, although fresh is better)
  • 1 ball of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
Chop your onion very finely, and sweat it in a little olive oil, at low heat, until soft and translucent.
Add the tomatoes to the onion, and turn on the flame. Add a pinch of sugar (in order to balance the acidity tinned tomatoes tend to have), season with salt and pepper, add two basil leaves and let it reduce for about 5 minutes, until your sauce appears thick and glossy. Taste it, add more salt and pepper if necessary and turn the heat off. Fish the basil leaves out and discard.
 While your sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. As soon as ready, drain immediately and add it to the pan containing the tomato sauce, stirring it on medium heat.
Tear the mozzarella in shreds, and add it to pasta in the hot pan, always stirring clockwise, until the cheese is completely melted and has been evenly incorporated by the sauce.
Serve it immediately while hot; the cheese will form long, delicious strings (the mystery behind the name now revealed) and while quite messy to dish up, it's a lot of fun to eat :-) Garnish with the rest of the basil leaves, chopped finely, and some more black pepper.

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