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Simple Cooking - Tomato/Grappa Pasta

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jun 25, 2009 5:20PM

Now that the farmer’s markets are filling up with tomatoes, it’s time to start finding great recipes to use them up. At this time of year, we prefer relatively simple, unadorned recipes - all the better to show off the freshness of the produce. This recipe is an adaptation of an old standard, usually made with vodka and a ton of cream. We use much less cream, to allow the flavors of the tomatoes and shallots to come through. Using grappa, instead of vodka, gives the pasta a kick AND some extra flavor. If you don’t have any grappa, we’d recommend using brandy.
TomatoGrappa pasta.jpg
Tomato/Grappa Pasta

3 tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 shallots, diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons
4 tbsp Grappa
1 lb pasta (we use farfalle or rotini)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Chop the tomatoes, removing any remaining seeds. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta - this recipe will cook in the time it takes the pasta to boil.

Melt the butter over low heat, then add the garlic and the shallots. Saute the shallots and garlic until softened, and then turn up the heat to medium. After a minute, add the grappa. Let it boil for a minute, then add the cream, bay leaf, crushed red pepper and 1/2 the basil. Season with salt, and let the mixture simmer for 4 minutes. Turn the heat to low and stir in the tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes; don’t leave them too long or the tomatoes will get soft. Remove the bay leaf and sprinkle with the remaining basil.