Tomato season will soon be upon us. Then it will be time to make this beautiful pasta dish.
(serves 4 to 6)
- About 4 cups ice cubes
- 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons tightly packed basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon each tightly packed fresh marjoram and Italian parsley
- 1 clove garlic
- Generous pinch of hot red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 oil-packed anchovy filets, rinsed
- 1/3 cup brine-cured olives such as Kalamata pitted and coarsely chopped
- 3 pounds richly flavored tomatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Abundant boiling salted water
- 1/3 cup tightly packed arugula, coarsely chopped
Put half the ice cubes in a medium bowl,add the onion and top with the rest of the cubes. Cover with cold water. Refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.Drain. (Chilling the onion in ice water makes it crisp and mild.)
Mince together the herbs, garlic, and hot pepper with the salt. Turn into a big serving bowl.Add the anchovies, olives, tomatoes, vinegar, cheese and oil and blend in the tomato paste. Taste for seasoning, add a little freshly ground black pepper if needed.
Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling salted water, stirring often, until it is "al dente" (barely tender but firm to the bite). Drain in a colander.
Put the pasta pot back over medium-high heat. Spoon most of the sauce's liquid that has formed into the pot. Stir in the drained pasta and cook a few minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Turn the pasta into bowl with the sauce and add the drained onion and fresh arugula.
Taste for seasoning, toss and serve.
Source: Christine Hickman