Cold pasta with cherry tomato トマトの冷製パスタ

japanese cake
I saw some nice looking cherry tomatoes in a pouch at the grocery store and bought them. Then, I saw this recipe on line and decided to try it as a Sunday lunch. It was an unusually nice weekend and we spent as much time as we could on our deck. This is a wonderful dish and we will make this again. It will become one of our regular dishes especially in the hot summer months.

Although I was sure we had some, I could not find any Angel hair pasta in our pantry (or Capellini) (which was used in the original recipe). So I used Linguine instead. The packaged Prosciutto  from our regular grocery store was not the best quality but it was OK. 

Ingredients: (for 2 servings):

Cherry tomatoes, 1 package (about 10, they were rather large for cherry tomatoes)

Olive oil, 1 tbs (or more depending on your preference).

Garlic, small clove, crashed using a garlic press.

Japanese concentrated (x3) sauce for noodles or “Mentsuyu” めんつゆ,  1 tsp

Salt and pepper to taste

Linguini, dried, 1/3 package

Japanese concentrated (x3) sauce for noodles,  1 tsp, to season the noodle.

Fresh basil

Proscuitto, 4 (2 slices per serving).

Directions:

  1. Skin the cherry tomatoes. I made a shallow “cross” on the stem end and plunged them into boiling water for 5 seconds and then transferred to an ice water bath. When cooled, I removed the skin(#1)
  2. I placed half of the cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and Japanese noodle sauce in the mixing container for an immersion blender. I blended until it made an emulsion (#2). I tasted and seasoned with salt and pepper.
  3. I cut the remaining cherry tomatoes into quarters (or halves if they were small) and placed them in the emulsion. I covered the container and placed it in the refrigerator (I did this in the morning).
  4. I cooked the linguine as per the package instructions (12 minutes in salted rapidly boiling water).
  5. I washed the noodles in cold running water and drained.
  6. I placed the noodles in a bowl and added the Japanese noodle sauce, tossed and drained excess sauce. I further blotted excess moisture using paper towels (#3) as per the original recipe (I did this also in the morning, coved it and placed in the refrigerator).
  7. At lunch time, I added the sauce to the noodle, added hand-torn fresh basil leaves and gently tossed and plated it (#4).
  8. I arranged strips of prosciutto, basel, and drizzled on some of our good olive oil.

This was a unqualified success. The sauce was wonderful. It had a very light but refreshingly intense tomato flavor. It was great probably because the cherry tomatoes were very ripe and good. The linguini actually worked well. My wife thought this was a Japanese udon noodle (thin Inaniwa kind 稲庭うどん). It had some al dente texture remaining but worked nicely. The Japanese noodle sauce was not recognizable as such but definitely added a je ne sais quoi flavor to the sauce and noodles (“Kakushi-aji” 隠し味 or hidden taste). The addition of prosciutto was also good. Although the prosciutto was not of the best quality, its saltiness really contrasted with the sweet and slightly sour taste of the sauce. Overall, we enjoyed this dish. It is perfect for a hot summer day lunch while lounging on the deck.

P.S. Since this was a really good dish, I made it a few days later with angel hair pasta and Campari tomato. Instead of hand-torn basil, I made a chiffonade which I thought would mix in better.

I even made a rose of prosciutto.

Angel hair past (capellini) appears to hold more sauce since the total surface area is larger than linguini for the same amount of pasta. We liked both.

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