Smashed tomatoes and penne
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb (1 dry pint/450g) grape (cherry) tomatoes, washed and cut in half lengthwise
- 8 oz (240g) penne or other short pasta
- 1 tsp salt
- In a medium-sized pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over a medium–low heat for just a minute. Add the garlic and tomatoes and give it all a good stir then cover the pan and let it simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and, with the back of a wooden spoon or a fork, lightly smash the tomatoes (see photo).
- In the meantime, bring a large pot of 2–3 quarts (litres) of water to the boil, add the salt and cook the pasta for 10–11 minutes until al dente following the packet instructions. Do not overcook. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the tomatoes and garlic. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the pasta mixture, stir so it is all well combined and serve immediately. Top with fresh basil leaves and freshly grated romano cheese if you wish.
Photo: Sergio Burani