Summer means POMODORINI!

No summer is complete in Italy without the smell of fresh pomodorini (cherry tomatoes) simmering away with basil to make a sublimely simple plate of spaghetti col pomodoro.

‘Tis the season for tomatoes and even if you can’t get the divine Pomodorini del Piennolo DOP of Campania, any good, farm-fresh cherry tomato will do.

-Start with about 2 pounds of fresh-as-can-be cherry tomatoes. Slice them in half.

-Peel and slightly crush 3 whole garlic cloves. Generously cover the bottom of a saute pan with olive oil. Yes, that means about ½ of a cup! Trust is, this is the secret.

-Over medium heat, let the garlic become golden in the oil, then pluck it out.

-Get the oil to medium high and put the tomato halves in the pan. Cover the pan quickly, as it will hiss as scream. This is good.

-After 3-5 minutes, lower the heat back to medium and salt the tomatoes generously.

-Stir the tomatoes. After about 10 more minutes, the tomatoes will probably be mushy. Start to smash them with a wooden spoon.

-Meanwhile, cook a pound of spaghetti (not too thin!) in generously salted water.

-After the tomatoes have cooked for a total of around 20 minutes, turn off the heat and add a handful of fresh basil.

-When the pasta is just harder than al dente, drain it and add it to the pan with the tomatoes. Stir it around with the tomatoes and cook it for 1 minute or two until it’s done.

-Plate the pasta and dust with a bit of Parmigiano Reggiano.

Now take a second to breathe in the intoxicating scent of simplicity and make a toast to Summer!

Photo via Wikipedia.

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