Spaghetti al pomodoro crudo. This is a really good dish for a hot summer’s day. It’s only worth doing if you can find really ripe, tasty tomatoes though. If all you can find are the usual UK supermarket version ie. hard as a golf ball and flavourless – don’t bother 😉 Serves 4.
500g ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
10 basil leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic,peeled
salt and pepper
Put the tomatoes into a large bowl along with the oil, whole garlic and basil. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Cover and leave in a cool place to allow the flavours to develop – at least 1 hour but the longer you can leave it the better. Remove the garlic before serving.
Cook the spaghetti until al dente, drain and mix with the sauce.
Somebody was asking for vegan recipes on one of the forums I visit. She is due for a visit from her daughter-in-law and was stuck for ideas. My first thought was ‘Easy! Most of the recipes on the blog are vegan.’ . On closer inspection, however, I realised none of them are 🙂 Vegans eat cheese, don’t they? 😉 I asked around my Italian friends, and after much explanation of the concept of veganism, I came up with this recipe. Baking the dish concentrates the flavour of the tomatoes wonderfully. If you’re cooking it for a strict vegan, check that the bread crumbs don’t contain any milk. Serves 6
300 grams rigatoni
1 kilogram top quality tomatoes — sliced
1 large bunch of basil — chopped
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
Cook the rigatoni in salted water. Drain and dress with plenty of olive
oil, half the basil, and the bread crumbs.
Put a layer of the tomatoes in an oiled oven proof dish
Top with some basil, a drizzel of oil, a little salt, and a layer of
Repeat until all the ingredients have been used up. Finish with a layer of
This is the first dish I had cooked for me in Pulgia. Orecchiette is the most traditional pasta of the region. The most popular way to serve them is with turnip tops (cime di rape) , but this way is also common. Feel free to leave out the chilli. This dish uses ricotta dura which is a type of aged ricotta from Puglia. It has a fairly mild, but distinct flavour. Don’t try this using regular soft ricotta, it won’t be the same. It would probably be ok with a mild pecorino if you can’t find ricotta dura. Serves 4
Orrecciete with tomatoes and ricotta dura ingredients