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April 2022 Issue
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Burst cherry tomato pasta

Photo: Izzie Thompson

A popular component of summer BBQs and picnics, cherry tomatoes are wonderfully juicy, bite-sized morsels, always bursting with sweetness.

In this recipe, the cherry tomatoes are cooked until their skins burst. This method creates a silky sauce of sweet tomato juices with olive oil, balsamic and oregano which is perfect for pouring over pasta. If not using the anchovies, make sure to add some salt to the tomato sauce.

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Serves‭: ‬4

Time‭: ‬30min

Cost‭: $‬20

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 400g pasta
  • 1 lemon, rind peeled 
  • or zested
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 punnets cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tsp fresh (or 2 tsp dried) oregano, plus extra for garnish
  • 100g tin anchovies 
  • in olive oil (optional)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 zucchinis
  • Walnuts/nut sprinkle
  • Parmesan to garnish

Method

Boil a big pot of salted water and cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Drain, retaining about one cup of the pasta water. Keep the pasta in the warm pot and stir through some olive oil to prevent it from sticking together, plus some black pepper and a few teaspoons of the lemon rind (using a sharp knife the yellow rind can be carefully peeled away and then chopped finely). Cover and set aside.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan while peeling and slicing the garlic. Add the garlic, tomatoes, oregano and anchovies plus their oil to the pan, mushing the anchovies as they gradually break down. Cook for 5-10min, until the tomatoes start to burst and release their juice. 

Slice the zucchini into thick coins and add to the pan with balsamic vinegar. Cook for a further 3-5min, until the zucchini has reached its desired tenderness. 

Combine the pasta with the veggie mix and gently reheat, adding some of the leftover pasta water a splash at a time to loosen the sauce. Distribute between bowls and season to taste, then top with some crunch (walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are good), a generous grating of parmesan, a sprinkle of oregano leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice.