Most would think I should’ve mastered speaking Italian by now. I’ve been here for more than 6 months; sadly and embarrassingly, my answer is no. I still haven’t even started my Italian course yet and it’s mainly due to a multiple number of reasons that revolve around relationship and work per se. LOL.
For one thing though, I proudly admit is probably achieving a refined mastery in cooking pasta. Now, some would say hey it’s not that hard to cook pasta but let me tell ya, cooking a good pasta dish does require some tweaks especially when you are super hungry and trying to make something extremely easy and quick but not losing the essence of good taste. It could almost be compared with umm instant noodles except pasta is much healthier given the fact that it doesn't contain MSG.
Here is my all-time favorite summer pasta dish that is packed with summer flavors in full-blown. So good that I could eat it everyday. Really.
Serves: 1 person
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
4-5 cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 sun-dried tomatoes, shredded
5-6 olives, chopped into small bits
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tiny anchovy*
1 small bunch chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
2-3 tbsp grated Parmesan
1/4 lemon zest and juice
extra-virgin olive oil
*optional - can remove that from your recipe if you are a vegetarian or vegan
- Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until 1 minute before it becomes al dente. Reserve a small cup of the pasta water for later.
- Preheat a saucepan with olive oil on medium heat. Cook the garlic and chilli flakes for 1 minute.
- Add cherry tomatoes, anchovy, and chopped basil, cook for another 1-2 minutes. Season. Watch the fire and if vegetables start to burn, reduce heat to medium-low.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes and olives, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Put a lid on to speed up the cooking process.
- Add a small ladle of the pasta water and simmer the vegetables for 1-2 minutes. This is when the pasta sauce is in the making. Turn off the fire if the sauce starts to evaporate.
- Mix in the cooked pasta with some grated cheese and stir well.
- Garnish with some fresh basil, grated parmesan, lemon zest + juice, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil before serving. Enjoy!