I’ve had my fair share of pasta problems. Usually, when I was starting out, the comments would be along the lines of, “It tastes good, but the pasta’s undercooked/overcooked/mushy”, or the other way around, “The pasta’s cooked perfectly, but I don’t taste anything else”. Take note, I’ve never made my own pasta from scratch before, since I don’t have the ingredients, and the equipment is exorbitantly priced.
I take comfort in knowing that there’s always a canister of ready-to-cook pasta noodles resting inside the pantry. So far my pasta streak has been pretty good. But of course, I’m looking forward to the day I might be able to press my own pasta noodles.
Coming from a family whose conceptual definition of pasta is a chunky, saucy spaghetti, it’s a challenge getting them to try anything that digresses from their mental image. I’ve haven’t really made major breakthroughs with them yet. One time, when my uncle suggested that my vegetarian tomato pasta would taste better with condensed milk, my ego was torn in half. My mom, however, is my biggest supporter and a fan of my garlic and sardines pasta, so I usually give everything to her.
But of course, when I saw my 12-year old cousin, who has known fried chicken and Jollibee spaghetti all his life, devour his plate of my pasta, I had a feeling I was on to something.
Like I said, the roasted tomatoes I made are incredibly versatile. One classic preparation that I’ve always wanted to try is to add it to pasta. And the rest was history. The chorizos that I used were the plump, sweet, smoky variety, so it imparted a rich taste to the pasta oil. The tomatoes were the icing on the cake.
Imagine yourself swirling your fork to pickup the noodles, stabbing little chunks of juicy chorizo and a piece of roasted tomato, and putting it in your mouth, slurping the pasta – the sweet flavors of chorizo and basil, the acidity of the tomato, dancing and exploding in your mouth. Does it feel good? Are you drooling right now? I thought so.
Chorizo and Roasted Tomato Pasta (serves 3 – 4)
If you noticed, there isn’t a lot of precise measurement involved. Just put it all together, and have fun dancing with generosity and restraint.
- 100 – 150 grams angel hair pasta
- 6 – 8 pieces sweet smoky chorizo, sliced
- roasted tomatoes
- a few pieces of fresh basil leaves
- around 1/4 cup olive oil, or more if desired
- salt and pepper
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before draining. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- In a pan, over medium heat, cook and brown the chorizo until the fat renders. Season with salt and pepper. And the olive oil, tomatoes and the basil leaves. Allow to cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the reserved pasta water, then add the pasta. Mix well to coat the pasta with the seasoned oil. Add more olive oil if desired. Cook for 1 more minute, or until the water evaporates, it’s no longer soggy and the pasta has taken the sauce well.
- Remove from heat and serve warm. Enjoy!