I hate buying produce and herbs for one meal and oftentimes due to my crazy restaurant work schedule I only get one day out of a week to cook. That limits me to buying only enough produce for one meal which can prove to be a challenge considering everyone is sold rather large bulk meant for multiple meals and dishes.
In my efforts to save money and herbs, I decided to buy a basil plant rather than a large bunch. The basil plant cost the same as a bunch and can last much longer. I figured I could grows the leftover basil plant and make fresh pesto out of it whenever I had time.
What I didn’t factor in was the fact that I was not around to take care of the plant. I snipped some leaves on 3 occasions and come 4 weeks later I had myself a mini basil plant infested with little gnats.EWWWW (where does it say that in the directions “beware of gnats”) Ok no more growing plants for me. The positive thing was that the basil leaves were salvagable since the gnats were in the dirt. I snipped all the leaves off of the plant and soaked the basil in a large bowl and rinsed the basil leaves over a dozen times. I decided to chop up all this fresh basil and make Pasta pomodoro.
Here is my recipe for an amazingly satifying pasta pomodoro. The secret to this recipe is that I caramelize an entire onion in a pan, giving the sauce a real nice sweetness. It’s absolutely divine mixed in with all the fresh tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.
Spaghetti Pomodoro w/ caramelized onions
Ingredients: Serves 2
4 whole tomatoes off the vine, diced
1 whole bunch of basil sliced
1 whole brown onion diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon sundried tomato paste or sundried tomato pesto
2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 carton of spaghetti
salt and pepper
Lots of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
* Heat a large non stick pan with some olive oil and toss in all your diced onions and caramelize
* Once the onions are soft and slightly brown, add all your seasonings except the cheese and the salt and pepper
* Let everything reduce and cook down until the fresh tomatoes soften and wilt
* Should take about 5-8 minutes. Once it’s all well cooked, add your salt and pepper for taste and drizzle a little more olive oil in it
* Once your pasta is al dente, transfer the pasta to your pan with the sauce and let it cook a bit.
* Toss the pasta in the sauce and let it soak. If the sauce is dry, add some pasta water. If it’s too watery, let it reduce on high heat and add some cheese
* Turn heat off and add a couple spoonfuls of cheese and toss until completely incorporated.
* Add your basil last and toss again and plate immediately.
* Garnish with some more cheese and basil and a drizzle of olive oil.
The Italians love their olive oil and so do I!