August 16th, 2011

Spaghetti Pomodoro With Grilled Tempeh

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Serves 2 to 4
Time: 30 minutes || Active time: 20 minutes

You might have noticed, I have a lot of tomatoes. Maybe you do, too? I want to treat them as respectfully, and of course, as deliciously, as possible. Sometimes it seems the most respectful thing you can do is just slice them up and eat them raw, maybe a sprinkle of salt, leaning against the kitchen counter.

I’m not yet ready to make sauce to can, but all the basil in my garden had me craving a light fresh, saucy pomodoro. Of course, that just means “tomato sauce”, but the difference, at least as I’ve always understood it in Brooklyn, is that a pomodoro sauce is from fresh tomatoes. As a teenager I was fired from enough waitressing jobs in Italian restaurants that I must be qualified as an Italian food expert, so let’s just say I’m right.

Keeping the tomatoes in chunks and then cooking them quickly with some olive oil and lots of garlic, preserves all that garden flavor, and then some. The tomatoes are cooked to release their juice, which reduces just enough to make a pretty orange sauce – the perfect segue to fall. Slurp up forkfuls of this spaghetti while leaning against the counter, for the most authentic experience.

I served this with Garlicky Thyme Tempeh. I would say it serves 4 if you’re including a big salad, but more like 2 if this is all you’re eating and you’ve got an appetite.

1/2 pound spaghetti

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 pounds tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Several dashes fresh black pepper
8 large basil leaves, torn into pieces (plus extra for garnish)

First bring water to a boil for the pasta. Prep everything while it’s boiling. Once boiling, cook your spaghetti.

Meanwhile, preheat a 4 quart pot over medium low heat. Saute garlic in the oil for about a minute, being careful not to burn.

Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper and basil leaves and stir. Cover pot and turn the heat up to medium high. Let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

The tomatoes should be broken down and saucy. Toss in the spaghetti and toss to coat. Turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes or so, to let flavors meld. Serve topped with extra basil.

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