My dad was in Dallas for a short period in the late eighties and he used to always lunch at an Italian restaurant, Tommaso’s. He loved it so much that he used to go every single day. Soon, he met the Chef, Mrs. Laura Orso, who would converse with him in her native Italian. I guess the encounter and subsequent friendship reminded him of his childhood; he grew up speaking Italian with his mom and nonna at home and eating fresh pasta. A few years later, the business was sold and turned into a wholesale pasta operation and Laura Orso started giving lessons to the Dallasites in fresh pasta-making. I signed-up once and she amazed me with her speed and dexterity. I had never seen anyone produce ravioli in less than 10 minutes before. She sold a ring-binded collection of her recipes and this dish is extracted from it. She called it pasta ischitani.
It takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, start to finish, uses fresh ingredients, and there is no cooking involved (other than the pasta). Chef Orso says it is a great pasta to beat the heat. In Dallas and Beirut it is something we definitely appreciate!
Spaghetti with raw tomato sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
2 lbs tomatoes peeled, seeded, preferably heirloom
1 tsp sea salt to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper or white pepper
2 to 6 cloves garlic peeled, chopped or mashed
1 ounce basil, fresh or cilantro, about one cup
1/2 cup pecorino cheese or parmesan, grated
1 cup bocconcini Mozzarella balls in oil, optional
1 pkg capellini pasta angel hair or spaghetti (16 ounces)
1/2 cup black or green olives chopped, optional (not in recipe)
1. Drop the tomatoes, oil, basil, garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process with the spices (to taste) until the sauce is thick but chunky. Add the cheese or serve separately.
2. Cook the paste in plenty of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes, according to the directions on the package. Serve coated with the sauce, with the cheese on the side if desired.
To peel the tomatoes or garlic cloves, drop in boiling water for a few seconds, cool and peel.
I would add about 1/2 cup of black olives to this dish, too.
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