Pasta with Raw Tomatoes and Peppers / Pasta alla crudaiola

This recipe is based on one from the Puglia region of Italy.

“This is a simple pasta dish, perfect for easy entertaining, which is usually made in the summer in Italy using the season’s best tomatoes. The sauce is raw with the tomatoes left to marinate in good extra virgin olive oil — and can also be used to top crostini (bruschetta).” Gennaro Contaldo

Pasta with Raw Tomatoes and Peppers / Pasta alla crudaiola

In Puglia, I have only enjoyed this dish with orecchiette pasta which is the traditional pasta shape served with this sauce, but you could use any short pasta shape if you wanted to. Just ensure that you use fresh, very ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and a good quality extra virgin olive oil. I first tasted this dish on a trip to Puglia in July of 2011, and I have made it many times over the years since then. Deborah Mele. This is a simple pasta dish, perfect for easy entertaining, which is usually made in the summer in Italy using the season's best tomatoes. The sauce is raw with the tomatoes left to marinate in good extra virgin olive oil — and can also be used to top crostini (or Bruschetta). Gennaro Contaldo

Credit: Adapted from a recipe by Deborah Mele on her website https://www.italianfoodforever.com/2017/06/orecchiette-alla-crudaiola/ AND by Gennaro Contaldo from the book “Two Greedy Italians”.

Ingredients

    Ingredients: Ingredients: Serves 4
  • 400g Orecchiette (recommended) or spaghetti pasta
  • Sea salt
  • TO MAKE THE SAUCE
  • 240g cherry tomatoes, halved and deseeded
  • 3 small sweet peppers, red and yellow and orange, finely sliced 2 to 3 cm long
  • –20 Italian mixed pitted olives e.g. Norcellara, leccino
  • I small tender celery stalk, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 10 basil leaves, stalks removed and cut in half with a scissors, plus extra whole leaves to garnish
  • a pinch of dried oregano
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil

Method

    Method:
  1. For the sauce, pour two tbsp of the olive oil into the base of a bowl, and add all the ingredients for the salad. Add a pinch of salt and the remaining extra virgin olive oil and combine in the bowl using clean hands.
  2. Cover with a lid or foil and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least two hours. You can leave the sauce overnight to develop a more intense flavour, but not longer.
  3. When you are ready to use, remove the sauce from the fridge, set aside and allow to rise to room temperature. Check the seasoning, then:
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente according to the packet instructions.
  5. Drain the pasta, toss with the sauce, and serve immediately, garnished with some whole basil leaves.
Produced by John Fletcher @ http://www.johnstastesofitaly.com

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