Almost as comforting as adobo, a plateful of spaghetti with some sort of tomato sauce is one of my absolute favorite dishes. I have a version of it perhaps once a week… While it is most typically a version done with some pancetta, bacon or ground meat, I like the non-meat versions as well.
Two weekends ago, I managed to secure three different types of cherry or small tomatoes from deliveries and weekend shopping forays at the markets, and decided to whip up a pasta dish that took just a few minutes to cook… Boil some water in your pasta pot and salt it heavily, then add your pasta…
Into a wide pan I added generous amounts of olive oil, three cloves of garlic (whole, to be fished out before serving) and let the garlic flavor the oil. Next, I added several handfuls of different tomatoes, with some having been sliced in two, others left whole. Season with salt and pepper. Saute this over high heat until the tomatoes blister a bit and soften, say 2-3 minutes. Some of their juices will meld with the oil, and it should thicken a bit. Lower the heat to medium. Fish out the garlic if you like.
As soon as your pasta is cooked, drain it and add it directly to the pan with the tomatoes. You may wish to add a bit of pasta water to keep this all moist. Mix well, add a touch more of extra virgin olive oil if necessary and do a final seasoning of salt and pepper to taste. Take this off the heat and add some bite-sized cubes of fresh mozzarella. Transfer to your serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped or torn fresh basil leaves. Eat. If you want more cheese, add some grated parmesan. Comfort in a bowl.
The pasta would have been fine on its own, but we also added some pan-fried chicken finished off with lemon and some flat-leaf parsley.
And a simple green salad to round the meal off. The pasta was really, really nice. The different consistencies and texture of the tomatoes made for surprising mouthfuls of tomato flavor explosions. Delicious.