Bursting with flavour, this garlic and tomato pasta makes a delicious and easy dish. Serve it slightly warm or at room temperature. It is also scrumptious the next day as a cold leftover.
This is an old family recipe that I have wanted to share for a while. Back home we call it Pâtes à l’ail. Growing up, my Sicilian great-aunt would make it for us in the Summer when tomatoes are at their best.
Like any recipe passed down through generations, creating a written version of it involved quite a few phone calls between my mum and one of our cousins. Everyone in the family makes this garlic and tomato pasta from memory, adding their own twist and using approximate quantities of ingredients. My version is different as I have added cannellini beans for protein.
This straightforward recipe makes four generous servings. The only step not to be skipped is the peeling of the tomatoes, as otherwise, you will end of with a lot of skin in the sauce. Also, I tend to use a fork to crush the tomato pulp so as to leave some juicy chunks, which taste and look absolutely wonderful.
The tomato sauce is meant to be served cold so don’t hesitate to prepare it ahead and leave it at room temperature for a few hours so the flavours can develop. You can vary the amount of tomatoes, garlic and olive oil to suit your own taste.
I hope this garlic and tomato pasta will become one of your family classics like it has been for us for generations.
- 800 grams tomatoes [1.75 pounds]
- 55 grams garlic cloves [1.95 ounces]
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 handfuls of basil leaves (+ extra to serve)
- 250 grams spaghetti pasta [8.8 ounces]
- 400 grams can cannellini beans [14 ounces]
- Heat some water in a large saucepan. When boiling add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Drain and set aside to cool down.
- When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off.
- Cut the tomato flesh into small square. Place into a bowl with tomato seeds and juices. Using a fork or a pestle, crush the tomatoes to a sauce. Make sure to leave some little chunks of flesh here and there so it is not completely liquid.
- Add crushed garlic, salt and olive oil to the tomato sauce. Mix in 2 handfuls of chopped basil. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
- Drain and rinse cannellini beans.
- When cooked, drain pasta and mix in straight away in prepared tomato sauce. Toss together. Add cannellini beans and leave to cool for 15 minutes or more.
- Serve slightly warm, cold or at room temperature sprinkled with some more chopped basil.