Monday, June 27, 2011

I am so Hungry Since I Saw it On TV and I Will Not Be Satisfied Until I Eat it!

You know how those ad commercials on burgers and biscuits and Chinese food make you hungry? They seduce you in your living room, in your bedroom as you read the newspaper and even in your car with those hoardings with massive pictures of food. Well, that’s what happened to me last night while I was watching this film on TV. I could literally see the steam and melted cheese, smell the fresh basil and taste the tanginess of the tomatoes in the saucy spaghetti, as Julia Roberts rolled her fork and took a massive bite of that simple yet, Oh-so-yummy classic Italian pasta.

There were no hoardings and the picture was not in the newspaper and yet, I couldn’t stop thinking about that spaghetti she was eating. I don’t think I have ever been infatuated by a man as much as I was smitten by the beauty of that spaghetti. She was gorgeous and I want her. Yeah, I could go to an Italian Restaurant and order a spaghetti arabiatta but cooking is always more fun before something magically brought to your table. After all, we all like all the hard work we put in, to get our love to the table. There was another reason I opted out of going to a restaurant on this occasion, I would have to order four servings of spaghetti to satiate my cravings and can you imagine how much that would cost me? What if I didn’t get the real taste of fresh tomatoes and basil? I cannot take a risk, I am going to get some sweet basil freshly picked out from the garden, the smell makes me swoon, some large, red tomatoes and authentic Italian Parmigiano Regiano Cheese, no concession.

Simple Spaghetti in Fresh Tomato Sauce

Simple Spaghetti in Fresh Tomato Sauce – Serves 4

Spaghetti              250g
Tomatoes            5 Large
Garlic                    3 cloves, crushed and chopped
Olive Oil              30 ml
Dry Red Chilli flakes     ½ teaspoon
Salt                      to taste
Parmesan Cheese            100g, grated
Fresh Basil Leaves      10
Fresh Basil Sprigs        5, for garnish

Boil water in a deep, heavy bottom pan filled upto ½ inch from the rim, add salt. Once the water comes to a boil, add in the spaghetti. DO NOT BREAK THE SPAGHETTI, as it cooks spaghetti tends to dip completely inside the pan, whole. Allow the spaghetti to cook in boiling water for five minutes. Check if the spaghetti is cooked, by biting a piece to see if it is tender and not mushy.
Now, drain out the excess hot water from the pan. Run the spaghetti under cold water, twice and set it aside.

For the Tomato Sauce
Heat water in a deep, heavy bottom pan until it is boiling. While the water is getting heated, wash the tomatoes thoroughly, remove the eye and make a cross incision at the bottom of all five tomatoes. Once the water is boiling, pop in the tomatoes into the boiling water and allow them to cook for two minutes. Once the skin of the tomatoes separates from the flesh, remove the tomatoes, run them under cold water and peel out the skins. This process is called blanching the tomatoes. Now remove the seeds and chop the tomatoes finely. If you prefer, you can also leave the seeds and juices on and mash the tomatoes as an alternative.

Heat olive oil in a pan, add in the chopped garlic and the tomatoes. Allow it to simmer for five minutes. Add in salt and dried red chilli flakes, stir and allow it to simmer for another five minutes. Now, add in the spaghetti, shred the basil leaves and add them into the sauce and stir, allow the sauce to simmer for another two minutes. Garnish it with sprigs of basil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top. Serve the spaghetti hot, with grated parmesan cheese on the side.

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