Today 5th of December I prepared one of the best “spaghettoni al pomodoro” I ever did…how is this possible, almost in winter? The answer is simple: with amazing products, like these “pomodorini del piennolo del Vesuvio” (or other similar great artisanal products), simply picked up when perfectly ripe, squeezed with hands and carefully put in a jar no salt, no other flavors, no preservatives (of course!), just perfect wonderful tomatoes there is any other “fresh” tomato now that can come close to these, no way, that’s why I never buy tomatoes in winter (of course if I would use the same tomatoes in August I would obtain the very best, but I don’t live in Naples or Sicily 😀 but with such a well made product I think the difference is really not big at all. I have tomatoes in the garden here, they are good, but because of the different climate I cannot obtain anything like this unfortunately).
There is probably any other dish more iconic than this in Italy, it’s our national symbol, it’s our flag in a dish, and very probably when it became a symbol it was prepared with some similar wonderful tomatoes, full of flavor, only in this way it could have impressed the people I would like that all the people outside Italy would try it with such tomatoes like these, because very often I see that this dish is not really fully understood outside Italy, I mean its greatness is not understood, it’s often seen like “yeah it’s ok, but it’s just pasta and tomato“, but mostly because often the tomatoes used they are not so delicious and they don’t make this dish special. Instead this is the triumph of the simplicity, and there are few dishes I can say I would never say no (when it’s well done, obviously) and the more a recipe is simple, the more it requires great ingredients to be fully appreciated: a good pasta, a great tomato, a great olive oil, some basil and one clove of garlic, that’s all you need for a forever winning recipe and no cheese, it’s not needed at all if you have a perfect tomato, you would just cover its perfume and flavor.
So today, 5th of December, thanks also to some sun but thanks to this amazing flavor, I felt a little bit like in a summer day I think it’s quite important for your soul to prepare dishes like this and thanks God it’s possible to have these products also in cold winter days, there are any other better things to “rewarm yourself” in colder days it can be always summer! For some time at least 🙂
INGREDIENTS (2 people):
- 200 g spaghettoni (or spaghetti)
- 350 g good tomatoes, perfectly ripe, juicy, full red
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- fresh basil leaves
- Start boiling the water, then take a pan and heat a generous amount of good extra virgin olive oil. Then add the garlic and cook it until it gets some color.
- Remove the garlic and add the squeezed tomatoes, with their juice. At the same time add the spaghettoni in the boiling water, with salt. Simmer the tomatoes at medium/low heat, covered for the first 10 minutes, then remove the cover. All together they have to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the liquids reduce.
- When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it and put it in the pan with the tomatoes, with a ladle of its water if needed, and cook together for 1-2 minutes, until well mixed with the sauce. Add the fresh basil.
- Serve it, add a drizzle of fresh extra virgin olive oil, and enjoy it immediately this masterpiece of the Italian tradition 🙂
Pasta: Spaghettoni from Pastificio Gentile
Tomato: “pomodorini del piennolo del Vesuvio DOP” from San Nicola dei Miri/Pastificio Gentile
Extra virgin olive oil: my father’s oil, from Lake Iseo