Tomato, chilli and garlic linguine

This is my favourite dish from Café Caldesi menu so I have created my own version of it. Nice friends say it’s as good as Caldesi’s.

You will need:
Ripe tomatoes (the best are San Marzano but it’s not easy to get them if you don’t happen to be in Italy right now. In London I usually buy them at La Fromagerie – today I just used British vine tomatoes)
Tin tomatoes (if you don’t have enough fresh ones)
Fresh basil
Sour cream
Olive Oil
Salt, pepper

 And of course pasta. I use filini from La Pasta di Aldo – according to Heston Blumenthal ‘perhaps the finest pasta in Italy’. In the UK it’s available at Waitrose. You are supposed to boil it for around 7 minutes in filtered water with a tea spoon of sea salt. To be honest it’s good enough to be served on its own, with a bit of good olive oil, some basil and freshly grated parmesan – my choice after busy days at work.

Any good linguine will be perfect though the only important thing is that it is cooked al dente.

I start with roasting my tomatoes with a bit of olive oil, black pepper and few cloves of garlic. In my opinion this brings more flavour to the sauce and helps cook quicker.

When tomatoes are ready peel them off (it should be easy to do so, if it’s not they are not ready yet), mash together with garlic, remove liquid from the mixture and put aside for a moment.
If I have really good tomatoes then I would bother to remove the seeds as well – but I don’t think this is necessary for every day eating.

In a pan heat some olive oil with pieces of chillies (add as much as you like – I have to confess use usually too much. Like I always boil too much pasta – by the way my Italian friend Mariolina told me to use it next day with eggs and fry like an omelette). You can add some extra garlic if you want (for us Polish people there is never too much garlic) but you will have to be very careful with it as it gets burnt very quickly. Add tomatoes (fresh and tin ones if you are using both), stir and leave to boil slowly for around 50 minutes with a lid on.
Check it from time to time, stir occasionally and taste if you have added enough chillies and pepper.

When it’s almost ready – so when the mixture is smooth – add a bit of sour cream and then almost at the end few leaves of fresh basil.

Serve hot with your pasta and grated parmesan.

It takes few times to learn about its proportion and how you actually like it. Mine wasn’t too spicy today and surprisingly, I didn’t cook too much pasta either.

Buon apetito!

All my Italian friends feel free to comment.


2 thoughts on “Tomato, chilli and garlic linguine

  1. Monika, I love this. I already made it twice. I don’t even like chilies normally, but somehow in this dish it is fabulous. It is delicious for diner and cold as leftovers the next day. Somehow roasting the tomatoes does make the sauce different.

    • Thanks ;) It’s one of my favourite summer dishes and I have been making it quite a lot this year as well.
      Enjoy your day!

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