It’s noon on a wonderful, sunny and warm October Saturday and in Italy it is time to start thinking about lunch. So why don’t you come into my kitchen and follow me as I make a delicious and healthy pasta dish for my son and me.
25.3 C (about 78 F) a temperature that still keeps Summer alive, so I’ve decided to make a fresh cherry tomato sauce with whole wheat pasta.
Before we begin let me give you the ingredients for a single portion, naturally multiply for as many people who make up your lunch or dinner party.
You will need 80 grams (2.85 oz.) of whole wheat pasta (get the good kind, much tastier. I use Garofalo whole wheat semolina pasta)
For the fresh cherry tomato sauce I will use a bit of extra virgin olive oil, diced baby white onions (I usually use one bulb, but you can use a bit more if you like), cherry tomatoes (about 310 grams or 11 oz.); 4 rolled up spicy filets of anchovies and some Italian bread crumbs (and I mean real bread, maybe of a few days, from which you will make fresh bread crumbs), some red chilly pepper powder or a fresh one, salt and you’re ready to start cooking.
Now to the pan. Start by pouring some extra virgin olive oil in the pan and add the fresh diced baby onions.
At this point let it cook until the onions become slightly golden and you can smell the wonderful onion aroma in your kitchen. Then add just a few teaspoons of the spicy oil of your anchovies to give it that extra flavor and add the 4 filets.
Now cook for a few minutes until the filets break up and become one with your onions, eventually they disappear in the pan. Take a few slices of Italian bread, cut off the crust and then with your fingers make crumbs with them and add to the pan.
Cook the bread crumbs in the pan with all of the ingredients, you will see the crumbs fry a bit and becoming slightly crunchy, like croutons and absorbing the flavor from the pan. While doing that, start cutting the cherry tomatoes in 4 wedges which will then be added to the crumbs, onions and anchovies. Sprinkle some red chilly pepper powder or just dice a fresh one, a dash of salt, mix well and then cover with a lid for about 30 minutes, making sure to stir every now and then as the sauce comes together.
After about 25 minutes of cooking with the lid on, the sauce should look like this:
Stir well and make sure not to burn the sauce. At this point start boiling the water for the pasta, make sure to have some kosher salt ready as we have to salt the water when we throw in the pasta at boiling point.
At this point your pasta should be cooking. Usually it takes about 14/15 minutes to cook whole wheat pasta. As for the type of pasta for this sauce, you have a couple of choices from spaghetti which mixes quite well with the sauce or you can use “mezze maniche rigate” and they look like this:
It you can’t find this type of pasta, use always a striped pasta as it absorbs the sauce much better than a smooth type pasta. Make sure to salt the water when you throw in the past and stir while it cooks.
When 14 minutes have passed, drain the pasta and then mix it in with the sauce and it will look something like this:
Stir in well over a very low flame and then plate it. Grate some fresh pecorino pour a nice glass of red wine and “BUON APPETITO!”