I am on vacation now with friends – visiting Mediterranean coast in Spain. And there are no such things as jet-lagged vegetables! They are simply grown here – always fresh and actually tasting like the real ones – just how they are supposed to be! To some people it may look funny, but when buying my tomatoes I love to smell them! To me that’s how a perfect dish is born – starting with getting quality ingredients. Unfortunately today the weather wasn’t treating us too well – a bit chilly and raining.
Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables. They probably get jet-lagged, just like people. ~Elizabeth Berry
Lunch time asked for something light, but warm and comforting – like pasta with fresh local ingredients – tomatoes, spinach and of course seafood. With such a large selection it took me a while at the fishmonger’s. There you can find almost anything your heart desires! Needless to say, I am looking at the Mediterranean sea as I am writing this – the source where most of that seafood came from. The rest came from the Atlantic ocean, which is also close by…
Ingredients (serving 2):
* ~150 g egg fettuccine
* 2 super ripe tomatoes
* 2 handfuls of spinach
* ~100 g cooked shrimp
* 3-5 garlic cloves
* Olive oil
Egg pasta cooks super quickly. 2-3 minutes and it is done al dente. I like to cook it a tiny bit less for perfection – later on it is tossed with the sauce, so cooks a bit more.
Start preparing the sauce. Chop the garlic, dice tomatoes. For a perfect dish I wanted to get the skin off and it is very easy to do that – cut the skin a bit and through tomatoes in hot water for up to 30 seconds. This time though tomatoes were too ripe. Can’t complain about that :).
Start a pot of water on the stove for pasta.
In the meantime heat another pot on the stove for the sauce. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and before it gets too hot, right afterwards I add garlic and tomatoes together. The garlic doesn’t fry, becomes tender and adds the desired fragrancy to the sauce. Add the shrimp and spinach, a bit of salt to taste. Let it cook for a few minutes on a medium heat.
The water should be boiling by now. Add pasta, mix a bit so it doesn’t stick and make sure to try it after 1,5-2 minutes in order to get the right texture.
When eating good pasta at restaurants, I always wondered how they incorporate pasta and sauce altogether so well. Usually for me it used to end up as a mixture of two different things, with some tie missing. There is a little secret to achieve that. Once the pasta is done, don’t drain it – get it out of water with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce, mix well and add a generous scoup of water the past was boiling in. And that’s what makes pasta so well incorporated with the sauce and that good!