Tomatoes grown in Japan seem to taste zestier these days.
“That’s because (this time of year) the fruit tightens up and the flavor becomes concentrated. Heat it a little, and you get the aroma of the sun,” says Italian cuisine chef Kuniaki Arima who will introduce grilled tomato Roman-style pasta.
To brown the surface of the tomatoes quickly, he suggests sprinkling with sugar. Soft and ripe tomatoes are best for Roman-style pasta.
For grilled tomato (serves two):
2 thin slices of bread
Dressing (1/4 onion (shin-tamanegi), 2 anchovy fillets, 1/2 clove garlic, little more than 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp wine vinegar)
For tomato pasta (serves one):
30 grams bacon
30 grams spring onion
Garlic, parsley, red pepper
1 Tbsp wine
Little more than 1 Tbsp olive oil
80 grams spaghetti (8-minute cooking time)
To make this grilled tomato dish, pour 1-liter hot water in pot and immerse rolled up ball of newspaper. Place egg, leave for 15 minutes to make soft-boiled “hot-spring egg.”
Cut onion into 5-mm thick half-moon slices and mix with bit of vinegar. Immerse in ice water for 5 minutes. Pat dry and dice. Chop anchovy, slice garlic. Mix dressing in bowl.
Cut tomato in half. Pat surface dry, sprinkle with bit of sugar. Heat olive oil in pan, place tomato cut side down. Heat 15 seconds and turn. Heat 5 seconds and place on dish.
Spread olive oil on bread and toast. Scrape toast with garlic. Sprinkle tomato with salt and parsley. Serve with other ingredients. Sprinkle with pepper and olive oil.
To make pasta, bring water with 1 percent salt to a boil. Chop tomato into wedges, cut onion into 3-mm thick half-moon slices, cut bacon into 8-mm-thick rectangles.
Heat olive oil and crushed garlic in pan over low heat. Stir fry bacon and onion. Add wine and cook down. Add tomato. Start cooking pasta.
Cook tomato 4-5 minutes over medium low heat. Add salt, pepper and red pepper to taste and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Mix with pasta and add chopped parsley and olive oil. Sprinkle cheese and pepper to taste.
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From The Asahi Shimbun's Kashikoi Okazu column
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