Since moving to London, (and maybe the fact of becoming an ‘adult’ contributes…) the pace and complexity of life has sky rocketed. Always somewhere to be, something new to buy, some trending news hitting social media. Mondays blur to a Friday and the seasons quickly switch at the blink of an eye. (side note… it’s almost May… feel free to freak out over this with me).
So when there’s a day off work inviting me in, promising a sleep in and big warm hugs from the duvet, the temptation to slow down and flow with the mood of the day is too enticing. A Skype call home is made over a slowly made fried eggs (avocado totally not optional), and the day only really begins when I get out of my pyjamas (the only reason being to go and buy food).
With the sun making a gladly received appearance, (and my tummy craving the comfort of pasta) a light and Spring suiting rendition is devised as I plan the ingredients (and promise myself second servings).
Simplicity is what makes this pasta truly special. For once, (on my behalf) it’s not drenched in sauce or inundated with lashings of parmesan (guilty), instead, the ingredients, are each strong and true in their own right, (and if you can, buy these ingredients as top quality as you can from farmers markets or green grocers for the best results – you’ll definitely taste the difference!)
I find there’s something about cooking Italian inspired dishes that feels nostalgic and consoling. It feels good for the soul. It’s real, and doesn’t skip on flavour or honesty. It makes you want to invite loved ones round for a feast to share in the small and good things. (Just one of the many philosophical thoughts cooking pasta can bring about).
Photographing over the allure of the garlic and oregano breadcrumbs and sweet smelling roasted tomatoes, self control was tested beyond belief, but luckily for me, this recipes serves 4, so I could slurp up the spaghetti as I took the shots. Win!
The ultimate day off. Slow, simple, and spaghetti. Dare I add another ‘S’ and say Spring!
ROASTED TOMATOS WITH OREGANO & GARLIC BREADCRUMB SPAGHETTI
400g cherry tomatoes
6 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
80g pancetta, roughly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices stale bread (ciabatta or sourdough work well), torn into rough breadcrumbs
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped finely
90g rocket leaves
Juice of 2 lemons (plus extra wedges to serve)
fresh basil, chilli flakes, and grated parmesan to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Place the tomatoes on a lined roasting tray, and coat in 2 tbsp of the oil and seasoning. Roast for 20 minutes or until tomatoes look like they are about to burst.
2. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a medium saucepan of salted boiling water and cook to al dente. Drain under cold water and lightly toss in 2 tbsp of olive oil and set aside.
3. Heat a medium fry pan over medium heat, and fry the pancetta until crispy. Pour on top of the pasta. Then heat the remaining olive oil in the same frypan (using those delicious pancetta oils to cook in), and cook the garlic for 1 minute, then add the breadcrumbs, and the dried and fresh oregano. Cook for around 4 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are crispy and fragrant. Toss the breadcrumbs, and rocket into the pasta mixture and squeeze over the lemon juice. (If the pasta seems a bit dry, drizzle over a bit more olive oil. If in doubt, olive oil. Always).
4. Serve with a generous garnish of basil, a grating of parmesan and a pinch of chill flakes.
Thanks for stopping by!