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Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
This is an aromatic, slightly spicy, topping for any kind of pasta, made with fresh baby or cherry tomatoes, chilies, and herbs.
- Wash tomatoes and chop in half. Cut semi-dried tomatoes.
- Get your swimming goggles and snorkel!
- Chop off both ends of onion, stand onion on one flat side and cut down the centre. Lay sides flat, and slice length-wise four times, then width wise four times each half.
- Now you can take your goggles off.
- Cut root ends off garlic cloves, then with large fat knife (such as a cleaver) press hard down on clove. The skin will come off very easily. Then chop garlic into large chunks.
- Chop red pepper into same size as onion, being careful to full deseed and cut off all white bits.
- Invest in some food preparer's plastic gloves. The kind that come attached to instruction sheet in some home hair colouring kits will do, too.
- With gloves, slice green tip off of little red chilie. Slice lengthwise, then with table knife, scrape seeds and white bits into garbage. Chop into tiny bits.
- Now you can take the gloves off. Make sure not to touch your face (especially your eyes!) with the gloves.
- Heat some olive oil in large pan, a shallow dutch oven is great, over a medium high flame or medium high heat, and fry onions slowly until translucent.
- Add peppers (red and chiie) for another five minutes.
- Add herbs and a little more oil and reduce heat to medium low.
- Now add the tomatoes and after you get a little bubbling, reduce heat again if needed and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1/2 hour. It is also incredible cooked just till tomatoes are hot, ten minutes!
- You can use more chilie, or no chilie, or dried chilie, and fresh oregano is even better if you can get it where you are.
- Sometimes I mix and match things, using yellow baby tomatoes and orange peppers in the summer for the colour. I also like a splash of Worcestershire (pronounces wooster, oo as is foot) sauce or some red wine or even white wine. Even a splash of vodka can be nice, if you cook the sauce a very long time.
- The longer you cook the tomatoes, the better for them they are, unlike many other vegetables (yes, okay, they are not really vegetables -- ).
- Finally, there are some excellent alternatives to wheat pastas, including rice pasta, which is made especially for Mediterranean cooking, probably in any pasta aisle or health food aisle or store.