Simple Spaghetti Pomodoro
During my afternoon wandering the stalls at Taste, I came across a small range of authentic bottled Italian staples by Benfatti. I'm definitely not one to purchase pre made bottled pasta sauce - especially the ones that claim you don't have to add anything. But after sampling the passata, I knew I couldn't walk away without purchasing 1 or... at least 6 bottles. This is not the sauce with added sugar, onions, random herb additions and preservatives. It tasted pure, authentic, and at first taste, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the stuff!
You guessed it, a super simple spaghetti that would be so delicious that it would transport me back to my first trip to Italy circa 2006. Where the pasta was fresh, and the sauce minimal, where it was all about big flavour with few ingredients.
Whenever possible, I choose to use pasta of the fresh refrigerated variety. On the off occasion that I use the dry stuff, it's because I'm relying on the harvest of my pantry for a rushed mid week meal - and pasta is not one of those dishes that I like to rush! By request of my darling husband, I always prepare enough to ensure there are left overs for tomorrows lunch - which is why I go for a 500gram pack of fresh spaghetti by Pasta Vero.
You will need: 500 grams of fresh spaghetti (I use Pasta Vero available at Woolworths) 1 and a half bottles of Benfatti Sicilian Cherry Tomato Sauce (or 450 grams of good quality Italian passata) 1 finely diced red onion 2 finely sliced cloves of garlic 8 large basil leaves, roughly chopped The juice of one small lemon (or three tablespoons) 2 tablespoons Rice Bran oil Optional topping: Half a cup of ricotta cheese Extra Virgin Olive Oil to finish Salt and Pepper to taste
Chilli Oil - optional Finely slice 2 chillies, and place into a small ramekin. Be sure to include the seeds! Top with olive oil and allow to sit for at least an hour before use, for full effect. (Even better after a few days.)
In a large pot, bring 2 litres of water to the boil.
In a saucepan, heat the rice bran oil over medium heat, and sweat the onions and garlic until the onion is clear in appearance.
Over the onions and garlic, pour in the passata and stir. Reduce to low heat. Allow to simmer on very low heat for 10 mins.
Gently place the fresh spaghetti into the boiling water, and cook for no more than 3 minutes if the pasta is fresh.
While the spaghetti cooks, add the lemon juice and basil to the sauce, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Strain the spaghetti.
Using the same pot that you made the sauce in, add the spaghetti to the pot and mix until well combined. (Remember this is not a saucy pasta, but you can always add more Benfatti sauce if you want it to be wetter.)
Serve with a tablespoon of fresh ricotta cheese and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil... or chilli oil if you're that way inclined! Enjoy!