Farmhouse cupboard fare: Olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, chilis, pasta and parmesan–that simple!
A classic example of the Mediterranean way of eating, which is in the news–again!.
It has barely been out of the news–stories of people living to very advanced ages on Greek islands crop up with annoying regularity on the health pages; annoying in the sense that you immediately want to go there and get a slice of the action–and can’t!
You could though get a copy of food writer Nancy Harmon Jenkins’ wonderful book–The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook–20th anniversary of its publication coming up next year.
She has been trumpeting the “Med” way of eating for years.
This was Sunday night supper chez nous–inspired by the recipe in her book.
1 large tin [can] 800g of tomatoes–chopped with its liquid
3 large garlic cloves–pulped in a mortar or press
4 tbls olive oil
4 small dried red chili–chopped with their seeds–(less or more depending on your tolerance and taste, but this is called “angry” [arrabiata] penne!)
25 gms/12oz penne rigate–the ridged kind (it picks up the sauce better)–ideally whole wheat/integral–which is increasingly available
salt and pepper
- Gently heat the oil in a pan large enough to take the pasta too.
- Slip in the pulped garlic and let it colour lightly.
- Add the chili and the chopped-up tomatoes.
- Cook until the sauce thickens–about 30 minutes–stirring regularly.
- It should be an unctuous pool of red glory.
- Taste for heat/spiciness—add more if you like.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add a teaspoon of salt.
- Add the penne, stir to stop the pasta sticking to the base of the pan and bring back to the boil.
- Cook until it is just tender.
- Drain well and add the penne to the sauce and turn it to coat the pasta thoroughly.
- Serve with grated parmesan if that suits–and a glass of red wine?