Today’s recipe brings back so many memories as it’s something that my paternal grandmother used to make all the time in summer when I was a child. It’s possibly the easiest recipe I have published so far and in fact I was in two minds whether to publish it or not. But after tasting it again, I just knew that these simple yet delicious flavours were just too good not to be shared.
My grandmother used to make this raw tomato sauce on really hot days, it easily gets to 35C in Sardinia in the middle of summer so you can see how she wouldn’t want to spend too much time cooking!
She would use durum wheat pasta (the standard type you find in all supermarkets) as wholewheat pasta was nowhere to be seen in Italy in the late 80s and wouldn’t even add the rocket but I can assure you, the freshness and sweetness of the tomatoes was just a show-stopper!
So this recipe popped into my head as I was thinking of what to make for lunch today. I chose to use wholewheat pasta as I much prefer its stronger flavour and more grainy consistency (especially in pasta salads) and I added some rocket as I thought its peppery flavour would complement the sweetness of the sauce nicely. The experiment was a success and I’m very glad as we have another 2 portions in the fridge.
Tasty and full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, try this recipe for a scrummy packed lunch!
- 280g wholewheat pasta
- 500g ripe tomatoes, washed and roughly chopped
- 2 large handfuls of fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- 3 tbsp of good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large handfuls of rocket
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- To make the tomato sauce, put the tomatoes, half of the basil, the oregano and the olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with sea salt and put in the fridge.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain and run under cold water to stop it from cooking further.
- Place the pasta in a large mixing bowl, add the raw tomato sauce and the remaining basil. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Add the rocket just before serving and a generous sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.
This pasta makes a great healthy lunch to take to work and can be prepared in the evening and refrigerated overnight. To stop the rocket from going soggy, put the pasta at the bottom of your lunch box and place the rocket on top. This way the rocket will not come into contact with the salt in the sauce and will be super fresh when you’re ready to eat!
What flavours take you back to your childhood? Is there something that you used to eat as a kid that you have recently re-discovered?