Time for a recipe I think!
There are some food combinations that just work; lamb and mint, pork and apple, salt and caramel, eggs and bacon, port and stilton…I could go on.
One of my favourite salads is the very simple tomato, basil and mozzarella served with a drizzle of good quality olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper; simple yet pretty perfect.
I had all the ingredients for this salad but fancied something a little heartier which is how this recipe came about. I believe that as long as you don’t add too many new flavours or mess around too much with the initial ingredients that these classic combinations can work well in a variety of different dishes and this pasta dish was easy to make and full of flavour.
I have also included a quick recipe for a tasty accompaniment; crostini which I believe roughly translates to ‘little toasted breads’. This is a perfect way to use up an old French stick and you can top it with whatever you fancy. I just kept mine simple and drizzled over some olive oil, seasoning and herbs.
A glug of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 can of chopped tomatoes
Enough pasta for 2 people (I used spaghetti)
A handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
A ball of fresh mozzarella, roughly torn
How to make it
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onions. Lightly fry on a low heat until they have started to soften
- Add the chopped garlic and cook for another few minutes
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes and allow the sauce to thicken – this should take 15-20 minutes with the occasional stir
- Meanwhile, cook your pasta until al dente
- Add the basil leaves and stir through, leaving a small amount aside for serving
- Now add the cooked pasta to the pan and ensure it is well coated in the tomato sauce.
- Add the mozzarella to the pasta just before serving and sprinkle over the remaining basil leaves
For the crostini:
- Place your bread slices on an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and a pinch of dried oregano
- Put the bread in an oven at about 140°C for 20 minutes until crisp and golden…simple!
This pasta dish is also very tasty cold the next day although I recommend you eat the crostini whilst warm.