Tomato macaroni with grilled crumbs
( SERVES 2 )
Even cooked tomato sauces take on a new lightness and complexity when you use fresh tomatoes instead of opening a can. This particular recipe, which is my summer version of macaroni cheese, uses fresh tomato sauce instead of the usual rich cheese sauce. If you are using Roma tomatoes, which have particularly thin skins, there is no need to blanch and peel them.
|1 Tbsp||Butter, or olive oil|
|1||Onion, small, finely diced|
|1 clove||Garlic, finely diced|
|3||Oregano leaves, marjoram or thyme|
|4||Roma tomatoes, large|
|1 to taste||Salt and freshly ground black pepper|
- First, make the sauce. Put the butter or oil into a medium-sized heavy saucepan, then add the finely diced onion. Cook over a moderate heat for a few minutes until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for a minute or two longer.
- Roughly slice the tomatoes and add with the herbs, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes break down into a chunky sauce. Set aside. May be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days.
- Thirty minutes before dinner time, boil the pasta in plenty of salted water until tender. Drain and return to the saucepan. Stir in the tomato sauce and heat to a simmer if the sauce was chilled. Then gently stir in the coarsely grated cheese and the cream. Pour into a shallow 25x15cm Pyrex or other gratin dish. Toss the breadcrumbs in a frying pan with the butter and sprinkle over the pasta. Turn the oven to 200C fan-grill or grill. Place the gratin dish in the upper part of the oven and grill until the sauce is hot and the crumbs golden brown.