I know it sometimes seems like I don’t eat dinner. I do, it just usually isn’t that interesting.
I do what most of you probably do for dinner: throw together a sandwich, a salad, some pasta—pretty basic stuff. I save my energy for special occasion foods, the kind of foods I make to share with friends, or as special treats for myself, or that require a Sunday afternoon to prepare (let’s face it, nobody is making elderflower fritters after work). But then sometimes a simple dinner recipe surfaces that I need to share, and it allows me to prove that I actually do eat dinner. I do!
I came across this pasta on one of my trips down the internet rabbit hole. I somehow ended up on Michael Ruhlman’s site reading about this dish and being prime tomato season, I wanted to share it with all of you. Maybe you already make it and have good suggestions for additions.
Not only is this easy to prepare, it is fun. It is efficient in a way that I find extremely satisfying. Serve it with some crusty bread and a green salad and you will be really pleased with yourself.
Tomato Water Pasta (adapted from Michael Ruhlman – there is a video of him making it!)
- 5 ripe tomatoes, large dice
- 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons of coarse kosher salt
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 10 cloves garlic
- a good handful of basil, you want a generous cup after cutting it into ribbons
- olive oil
- 3 ounces butter, cut into three chunks
In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with the salt and set aside. This will allow the tomatoes to release their juices.
Heat a large pot of water for the pasta.
Smash and chop the garlic.
Cut the basil into ribbons or roughly chop it. Take a pinch of basil and add it to the tomatoes to season the tomato water.
Once the water is boiling, add the pasta.
While pasta is cooking, heat a couple of teaspoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat, add the garlic and cook it till it is just beginning to brown around the edges and soften, a couple minutes.
Working quickly, pour the tomatoes into a strainer or colander set over the pan of garlic on the stove. Allow all of the tomato water to drain into the hot pan and then set the strainer with the tomatoes back into the bowl so they don’t drip on the counter. Swirl the sauce to bring it to a simmer. Add the butter while continuing to swirl or stir the sauce, keep the sauce moving until all of the butter has melted. Add the cooked and drained pasta, toss to coat evenly with the sauce. Add the basil and tomatoes and toss well to combine. Serve!