My Search for Authentic Flavours: Cherry Tomato Linguine

I’ve always been the kind of person who likes food to taste authentic. I love picking up recipes for food from books, magazine and most usually now Pinterest and tweaking them until they’re perfect. In fact one of Gary’s favourite meals, sausage casserole, is one I’ve been perfecting over the last decade.

On our recent trip to Rome, the very first meal I ate was a tomato and basil spaghetti. Nice and simple with fresh ingredients and pasta cooked al dente and just right. It was delicious, but the thing that struck me the most was how much it tasted like something I already cook.

I picked the recipe for cherry tomato linguine up off Pinterest, and the main reason I wanted to try it was that it’s a one pan recipe so I knew it would be pretty simple to make. I’ve made it a handful of times, and always enjoyed eating it, but was left with an acrid after taste every time – which I had put down to the use of garlic in the recipe.

So whilst eating this gorgeous plate of spaghetti in the little authentic recipe down a Roman side street, I thought hard about the flavours and decided I was going to make my linguine slightly differently next time.

So about a week after returning I picked up my ingredients and away I went. I have to say, this time I nailed it. I cut out the garlic and instead used garlic oil – oil infused with enough garlic to add the right depth of spice and flavour, but without that nasty after taste. I posted a photo of my creation and had a request to blog the recipe, so here goes; my one pan cherry tomato linguine, tweaked to perfection!

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Cherry Tomato One Pot Pasta (very generously serves 2)

2 tbsp garlic oil
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (from oil) snipped smallish with scissors
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (left whole)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
200g dry linguine – or however much you want for 2 servings! (snapped in half to make everything easier)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/4 cup of cold water
85g tomato puree
handful of fresh basil (sliced thinly)
Add olive oil to large high sided pan with a lid (I use a cast iron Le Creuset casserole dish), heat the oil, add the sun-dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Coat well with oil, over a medium heat and then partially cover the pan and allow to cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The tomatoes will spit a little as they burst because they’re full of water, so be careful! Add the paprika, pepper and salt, and cook for 2 mins more, stirring well.
Add the broth, water and pasta and increase the heat to high. Then add the tomato puree and mix well. Once the liquid has come to a rapid boil, stir well and then allow the liquid to reduce for about 14 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, give a stir and then add the basil. Stir one last time and then cover the pan and let it sit, off the heat, for about 5 minutes.
Serve with bread to mop up with!

If you decide to make this, I’d love to know what you think – send me your photos and comments, and tell me if you changed the recipe at all.

Happy eating!

Garlic Mushroom Linguine

Today I have reinstated a dish which I started to make almost exactly a year ago. I had been starting to use Pinterest a lot at the time and was getting ideas for simple meals to make for lunch when I was on my days off. I used inspiration from various things I had seen and came up with this garlic mushroom linguine. It’s so quick and simple and above all else tastes really good.
garlic mushroom linguine

It’s really so simple I would recommend anyone to try it as long as you like the ingredients pictured! I will say I have been constantly tweaking the amount of butter I use. The following recipe is what I used today, but please add less or more butter to your taste – but remember mushrooms soak a lot of it up and the butter is the only coating for all your pasta, but then again you really don’t want a sea of butter at the bottom of your plate! The amounts below are for one person serving, but it’s easily doubled for two. Anyway, have a go and let me know what you think!

Garlic Mushroom Linguine

25g Butter

3 Chestnut mushrooms (though I used white mushrooms this time, and it wasn’t as good!)

75g Linguine

1 Garlic clove

Salt and Pepper (black)

Boil a large pan of salted water and cook the linguine according to the packet. Slice the mushrooms and crush the garlic. When there’s about 5 minutes pasta cooking time left, melt the butter on a low heat in another pan (this pan must be big enough to hold all the pasta in later, but not so big that the mushrooms and garlic will burn).

When the butter is melted add the crushed garlic. As soon as the garlic begins to colour add the mushrooms. You will see that they soak up all the butter and the pan gets kind of dry. Give the mushrooms a minute to start to go a little translucent and then add some salt. The salt will make the mushrooms start to ooze a little liquid and create moisture in the pan. Add a little black pepper to taste.

By this time the pasta will have cooked al dente. Turn the heat off both pans and drain the pasta. Add it to the pan with the garlic butter mushrooms and coat. By adding the pasta to this pan you will get all the butter off the sides and won’t miss any!

Eat! Enjoy!
linguine
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