There are few foods I find sexier than pasta. Possibly because images of a youthful Sophia Loren, clutching a bowl of spaghetti to her quite delightful bosom, come to mind whenever I think of pasta. Unlike us, Italians don’t drown their pasta in sauce. One of my 5-minute favourites is just garlic, red chilli and tons of flat leaf parsley, frightened in a hot pan with extra virgin olive oil for a minute or two. The flavour is a knockout. And that’s the point with good pasta sauce – something simple that packs a mean punch flavour-wise. Tomato sauce is another such favourite. Done correctly, it’s good enough to make me break out in song, mostly bad Puccini. This one is my new must-have. Tomatoes, made super sweet with slow roasting, a kiss of mascarpone and you have a red velvety dream. Seriously sexy stuff. Enjoy!
All you need is…
400g small, ripe rosa tomatoes
1 tbs fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 tbs garlic, finely chopped
¼ tsp smoked chilli flakes (Woolies stocks it)
¼ tsp salt
4 tbs olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp tomato paste
3 tbs mascarpone (or thick fresh cream)
½ tsp red wine vinegar
Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and mix with the oregano, garlic, ¼ tsp salt and 3 tbs olive oil. Pour onto a flat baking tray and roast in a 140°C oven for 40 minutes.
In the meantime, fry the onions in 1 tbs olive oil until soft. As soon as they’re soft, add the tomato paste and fry for a further minute or two (it gets rid of tomato paste’s harsh metallic quality).
Pour the roasted tomatoes into a food processor, add the onions and blitz until pureed. Place the puree in a fine sieve and use the back of a spoon to push it through. A wonderful velvety sauce is what emerges and the pips and skins stay behind. Put the tomato sauce back on the heat and stir through the mascarpone. If the sauce is a bit too thick for your liking, add a few drops of the water you boiled your pasta in. Just before serving, add the red wine vinegar, a grinding of black pepper and salt, if needed. Serve with a pasta of your choice, purple basil (I love the purple against the red) and fresh parmesan.