Sure, you can pull out of the stops when to cooking – butterfly this, mouli that and marinade the other for 15 hours – but sometimes the most satisfying meals are the simplest. With just a handful of beautifully complementary flavours and 20 minutes of your evening, it’s more than possible to whip up a memorably marvellous dinner.
Given it’s the official grocer of the National Cookery School Guide (and the culinary brain behind three of our featured cookery schools), Waitrose was our first port of call to find a simple, summer-ready recipe that promised perfection in a hurry.
They responded with this almost-too-easy Italian-inspired pasta dish, which teams the sweetest, juiciest (sustainable) tomatoes of the season and the star of the spaghetti family – bucatini – with its hollow centre tailor-made for soaking up that sauce…
- 2 x 300g packs Waitrose 1 Red Choice Tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 6-8 cloves garlic, bashed in their skins
- 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 150g Waitrose Bucatini Spaghetti
- 25g pack basil, leaves picked
- 30g Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved from the block using a vegetable peeler
- Preheat the oven to 220°C / gas mark 7. Put the tomatoes and garlic into a medium roasting tin, coat them in 3 tbsp oil and season generously. Roast at the top of the oven for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are juicy and the juices are sizzling at the sides of the pan. Remove the garlic cloves if you wish.
- Meanwhile, cook the bucatini in boiling salted water for 9 minutes or until al dente. Reserve a cup of the cooking water, then drain. Toss the bucatini, 1 tbsp of its water, the larger basil leaves and most of the Parmigiano Reggiano into the tomato pan.
- Serve scattered with the rest of the cheese and some smaller basil leaves. Finish with a drizzle more oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar, if you like.