linguine with raw tomato sauce

when i saw matt’s recipe for pasta with a raw tomato sauce i knew i would have to try it with our homegrown tomatoes. i have made raw tomato sauces before but usually add cubes of mozzarella, so keeping it simple with tomatoes and basil plus a bit of lemon juice was appealing. i was also intrigued by the method which sees some of the tomatoes grated (the skin is discarded while the pulp and juices go in the bowl) and some diced.

despite matt’s exhortions to use the super-skinny angel hair pasta i stuck with linguine which i much prefer and think the sauce coped perfectly well with it. you do need perfectly ripe and flavoursome tomatoes though. i loved this dish but david was decidedly unimpressed – wanting to know why anyone would pour a cold sauce over hot pasta instantly rendering it no better than lukewarm. hey ho, another one for the “eat while home alone” pile.

but, so it doesn’t feel unloved, i’m sharing this dish with ruth who is hosting this week’s presto pasta nights.

gourmet’s capellini with fresh tomato sauce (serves 4)

1 small garlic clove        

3 lb ripe tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon sugar (optional, i did add it)

1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1 lb dried capellini (i used linguine instead of angel hair pasta)

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

extra virgin olive oil for dressing (i forgot this!)

mince the garlic and mash it into a paste using a pinch of salt.

core and roughly chop two thirds of the tomatoes. halve the remaining tomatoes crosswise then rub the cut sides of the tomatoes against the large holes of a box grater. remember to use the largest holes possible. grate into a large bowl, reserving pulp and discarding the skin. toss the pulp with the chopped tomatoes, garlic and salt paste, lemon juice, salt, sugar (optional) and black pepper. let stand until ready to use, at least 10 minutes.

while the tomato sauce is standing, cook your pasta in boiling salted water, uncovered until al dente, 2 minutes or so. drain in a colander and immediately add to tomato mixture, tossing well to combine, sprinkle with basil and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt before serving.