Joao loves pasta but he’ll mostly have it with tomato or bolognese sauce. He tried pesto when I first made it and liked it, but still looks at other pasta possibilities very suspiciously. That’s silly and I always tell him that.
So when I choose different pasta recipes to try he goes all “I want mine with bolognese sauce, please” and I go “ok, same old pasta for you, mister”. I won’t force him - mom made me eat beef so many times as a kid and I never learned to like it.
But things seem to be slowly changing around here… Bill’s pasta smelled so great that while eating I noticed a fork “stealing” spaghetti from my plate. And it happened with this pasta dish, too: every time I looked at my plate there was less food there – the fork had attacked again! I looked at Joao with angry eyes but it didn’t work. :)
I adapted a recipe found on a Portuguese food magazine called Blue Cooking and this is my entry for the Weekend Herb Blogging, this time hosted by Ulrike, from Kuchenlatein.
Pasta with tomatoes, olives, grana padano and basil
400g short pasta – choose the one you like the most
60g black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
500g ripe tomatoes, cut in 8 parts each (half moons)
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup (120ml) extra virgin olive oil + extra olive oil to drizzle
4 garlic cloves
200 grana padano cheese, in shavings
1 handful basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Lightly oil a baking dish and place the tomatoes on it; sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
Peel and cut the garlic cloves so there is one piece of garlic for each tomato slice. Place the garlic on the tomatoes, add some rosemary leaves on top, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender and the skin starts to blister. Remove from the oven, allow to cool then tear them into pieces. Set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente.
Place the basil in a small bowl, add the ¼ cup olive oil and process using an immersion blender – I halved the recipe and made the basil oil using a mortar and a pestle; a small processor would do the job, too.
Drain the pasta, add the olives, the reserved tomatoes, the cheese and the basil oil and gently toss the ingredients together. Serve at once.