Spaghetti with no-cook tomato sauce
Use the best oil and the ripest tomatoes you can get your hands on – there is nowhere to hide.
1.5kg large ripe tomatoes (I used bull’s hearts)
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, peeled and very finely chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
400g spaghetti or spaghettini
1 small bunch basil or marjoram
A few sprigs of mint
100g ricotta salata or parmesan (I use a vegetarian one)
Cut half the tomatoes in half across the middle (around the belly, not through the core). Using the cut side of the tomatoes against the coarse side of a box grater, grate the halved tomatoes, then discard their skins.
Halve and cut the core from the rest of the tomatoes, using a hand to squeeze out some of their juice (you don’t want the sauce to be too watery). Roughly chop these squeezed tomatoes and add to the bowl of grated tomato.
Add the vinegar, garlic, a good pinch of salt and about four tablespoons of olive oil. Taste and add more vinegar, salt or oil as needed – if you think the tomatoes need it, you could also add a tiny pinch of sugar (at this time of year, I never think it’s necessary). Leave to sit and steep for 15 minutes.
Cook the pasta in well-salted boiling water for one minute less than the packet recommends. Drain, then put it back into the pan, pour in the tomato sauce, and toss with the herbs and a good grating of ricotta salata. Tangle into bowls with more oil and grated ricotta.
IMAGE: Matt Russell for The Guardian