Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pasta Alla Panna - Amazing use for overripe small end of season tomatoes

Lots of tomatoes at the end of the season. And basil is still going strong. What to do with those tiny tomatoes?

Use them in an "Alla Panna" Like this:

Fry about 300g of bacon, throw some chopped garlic in on top. I use heaps, and just dried stuff (actually pre-fried from a Chinese grocer) but chopped fresh would be good.

While the fry-up is still pretty uncooked throw in a heap of roughly chopped overripe tomatoes, they'll give off lots of water, as they do throw in a heap of chopped basil, back off the heat, stirring and let it reduce to a paste with meat chunks.

Get some pasta cooked. I use two full packs to give me plenty of leftovers. Keep the pasta on the undercooked side.

I've never had a problem from taking the pasta out early. Overcooked is very bad and happens too easily.

So once that's done take the heat right back, pour a heap of cream into it and let the colours all mix. You end up with a rustic, creamy, yummy sauce that you just can't stop eating.

My kids call it "yummy pasta" - I make it on Sunday night and the leftovers give afterschool and whenever snacks well into the next week.

Perhaps it might not be considered healthy with all that cream but I seriously can't work out what people think is healthy or not.

I do a version for my wife where I put the pasta in a bowl, put lots of olive oil then the mix. Tonight I put chopped roast capsicum in there too with fresh basil. I think that's probably a great deal more healthy.

But the secret ingredient - super ripe tomatoes and some fresh basil

The good news - the tomatoes freeze for this with no problem at all. Just chop them roughly, freeze and use them as above. You could get away with not even thawing them if you're clever.

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