This recipe is great for showing off the shapes and colours of your tomatoes. It might seem a bit strange to use butter instead of olive oil in a tomato sauce, but it helps thicken the sauce without having to cook the tomatoes down to a pulp –and it tastes pretty good too!
TO DRINK (F&HE): Simonsvlei Simonsrood
Stracci with quick-cooked cherry tomato sauce
- 50g butter
- a bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 800g red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
- a whole nutmeg, for grating
- sea salt, to taste
- 1 x 500g packet lasagne sheets, broken into large pieces
- Parmesan, for grating
- extra virgin olive oil
Melt a knob of butter in a large pot on a medium heat until bubbling. Add the basil stalks and garlic, and fry gently for a minute or two, being careful not to brown the butter.
Pop the tomatoes into the pot and allow them to cook down. Once it starts to make a lovely buttery sauce with the tomatoes still holding their shape, take the sauce off the heat and stir in the rest of the butter and a good grating of nutmeg. You should end up with a silky pale pink sauce. This gentle way of cooking sweetens the tomatoes slightly without losing that summery freshness.
Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Drop the pasta pieces into the boiling water. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it and add to the tomato sauce. Throw in the basil leaves and toss the pasta in the sauce until everything is coated in the buttery tomato juices.
Serve with a healthy grating of Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.