Good food doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. Good food is simply well thought out. Combine flavours you know work, select the best quality ingredients and above all think. This is what make great food.
Pasta dishes are a good example of this. Most people will eat pasta on a regular basis, but only a few will eat pasta that is cooked correctly and in a sauce that maximises the flavours going into it.
Lets take tomato spaghetti. How can you turn this basic of all dishes into something you’re excited about?
- Pick good pasta. It doesn’t need to be pricey, but try a few out and find some that cooks evenly. You can then enjoy aldente spaghetti the way the Italians intended it to be.
- Using tomatoes for a sauce? Go for peeled plumb over chopped to guarantee better quality tomatoes. Also get the added benefit of bringing texture varieties to your sauce.
- Season food to bring it the flavours its locked away. This certainly doesn’t mean over-seasoning so everything is super salty, but also don’t treat salt like it’s a war time ration. For tomato sauces – a small amount of sugar is also your friend,
- Don’t forget to garnish. Sure it looks nice, but it also serves a pretty major purpose. It provides that last hit of fresh flavours be it herbs, oils or seasoning.
Tomato spaghetti is something pretty much everyone will get put in front of them. Why not make it one of those dishes that’s not easily forgotten?
This is my take on it. Enough for 2 people. Nothing revolutionary but with the addition of haloumi, pecorino and confident flavour pairings its a dish I look forward to immensely.
- 200g spaghetti
- 3 thick slices of haloumi
- 1 tin of good quality plum tomatoes
- Good pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Fresh basil
- Pecorino Romano cheese
- Add the tomatoes to a saucepan with the salt, pepper, sugar and oliver oil. Simmer for the time pasta takes to cook (around 8-10 mins)
- At the same time put your spaghetti on. I always cook a minute under guidelines for a guaranteed aldente finish
- With 5 mins to go on the spaghetti, fire up the case iron grill and get it screaming hot
- Drizzle olive oil over the haloumi and grill for 2-3 minutes each side. You want big dark ridges on this stuff - so much flavour is in this
- When the pasta is cooked add to the simmered tomatoes along with some of the pasta water
- Plate up the pasta, dress with the haloumi and sprinkle with basil and Pecorino Romano
- Black pepper and good olive oil to finish