Its that time again; the summer sun starts to set sooner, college town roads become more dangerous, our bars become filled with pastel polos and axe body spray and my more successful gardening friends get to show off their spoils by giving me hand me downs. The other day, this guy (one Marcus-fast cash-Chatman) brought me some spoils from his lovely mater patch. After the sting of jealousy went away, I decided to make a “fresh spaghetti”, or “spaghetti fresca” because that sounds sexy…
The outline of this recipe came from that one judge on Chopped that could be super insulting, then slightly less insulting, pretty much all the time. He was on Tony Bourdain’s No Reservations showing how he makes his spaghetti to order at his restaurant. I decided to somewhat pay attention. Since its been a year or so since I’ve made this, I’m claiming college paper originality and saying this is my way of making spaghetti…at least when I have the time.
Get these things:
- 4-5 fist sized tomatoes. Preferably, steal them from your friend’s garden at night when they are alseep, it will taste better.
- 2 TBS of good olive oil (I chose Devo’s super rich and smooth Leccino Olive Oil)
- 1 TBS butter
- 1/2 of small white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- fresh thyme
- fresh rosemary
- salt n’ peppa
- potato/tomato masher
- fresh basil
- tasty bread
- fresh shredded parmesan or asiago cheese
Once you get those things, do this:
- Bring a large pot with water to a boil. Score tomatos with an “X” on the non-butt end. Fill a largish bowl with iced water while the water is coming to a boil. Place tomatos in boiling water till the skins start to crack and pull away. Then place tomatos in ice water. We are blanching!
- Peel tomatos, slice into quarters, removing that ugly butt thing. You can de-seed if you want, but to me, its not worth the time and it makes a HUGE mess, even bigger than the one you are already making.
- Bring a large sauce pan to medium heat with the 2 TBS of your sexy olive oil. Once the oil is hot, drop two sprigs of thyme and half a sprig of rosemary in and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add onions and garlic, cook slowly if you have the time. If not, then proceed at your own pace, but I like the sweeter flavor you can get when you take your time. I like to do this, stirring somewhat frequently for about 20 minutes or so, well past the point where they become translucent. Just don’t burn them!
- Add your quartered tomatos and cook for 5 minutes at a simmer.
- Mash tomatos in the pan after the 5 minutes of simmer and then reduce until about half of the sauce remains. This should be about 20 minutes or so.
- While this is reducing, bring your pasta water to a boil and cook your pasta to an al-dente texture, about 6 minutes or so. Don’t you dare forget to salt and add olive oil to that water!
- Once your sauce has reduced, incorporate 1 TBS of butter (2 if your are Paula Deen) and make sure you have a simmer going.
- Add your drained pasta, toss/combine well and cook at a simmer for 2-3 more minutes.
- Put on a plate, add chopped fresh basil, and freshly shredded parmesan or asiago cheese. Eat with some toasted bread (I like to rub my toasted bread with a clove of garlic. TRY IT). Be merry.
Normally I take beer with every meal, but I hate trying to pair beer with a red sauce, although I’ve found stouts work surprisingly well. This time, I opted for a large gin and tonic: 1. Because I am a lush and 2. it was stupid hot out and it worked surprisingly well. Oh yeah, I made asparagus too but ITS NOT REQUIRED.
Do this too:
- Pint glass filled with ice.
- Put 4 oz of GOOD gin in the bottom of it. I like Nolet’s.
- Put 8 oz of fresh tonic water on top of the gin.
- Add a huge hunk of lime and a straw.
- Cancel plans for evening.