It actually hasn’t been too hot recently, but it’s finally really summer in NYC. I can tell because the best thing about summer is here. Cheap, ripe tomatoes. Tomatoes that can make a meal on their own without help from assorted pork products.
I make this dish when I want something that has the a bit of the taste of the slow cooked spaghetti I usually make, combined with the taste of fresh tomatoes.
Tomato Pasta With Fennel Seed
5 roma tomatoes chopped (or more)
5 cloves garlic minced
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 tsp fennel seed, crushed
3 tbsp julienned basil (Really, I go for as much as my sad window plant can spare.)
1 tbsp chopped oregano
2 tbs vodka (I’m sure wine would be good too.)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
heavy pinch salt
parmesan cheese for topping
1. Don’t forget to boil water for pasta. (I always do) Heat pan on medium-low and then
coat with olive oil.
2. Saute garlic and pepper flakes until garlic is lightly brown.
3. Add 1/2 of the tomatoes, the fennel, oregano, and salt.
(I’ve substituted frozen roasted tomatoes for the first half in these photos, but have also used all fresh.) Cook until tomatoes have lost much of their
moisture, 5-8 minutes. Near the end, add the vodka and vinegar.
4. Add the rest of the tomatoes, and cook just until heated through.
5. Mix in cooked pasta, and if things look a little dry, a little of the pasta water.
Toss in the basil. If you’re feeling particularly Batali-ish, finish it with a little more
6. Serve and top with parmesan.