Barilla, the number 1 pasta in Italy, are made from durum wheat and aren’t sticky. They boil in water and salt (7 grams of salt/liter), according to the indications on the pack or to your personal preferences. Recommendations are, as their name suggests, recommendations. You can try following them at least once, you may enjoy the result. If you don’t like it, you can always go back to the cooking method that is familiar to you. This being said, let’s see what is today’s recipe recommended by Barilla, a recipe in which the pasta is Italian, but the combination tomatoes+garlic+parsley is as Romanian as it gets.
It’s the asparagus season, so there’s a chance you might find it cheaper than during the rest of the year. It’s not the season of tomatoes, on the other hand, so it’s preferable to use tomato products. Whether they are skinless tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato passata or tomato purée, I think it’s better to use these than the unripe, tasteless tomatoes you find in the market right now. For today’s recipe, I used 400 grams of tomato purée, a few asparagus spears, 130-140 grams of courgette, three garlic cloves that I crushed with the blade of a knife, salt, pepper and a big handful of parsley leaves, a bit of olive oil and parmesan. And Barilla No 5 spaghetti, of course. 400 grams. There were four generous servings.
I put the pasta to boil once the water started bubbling (add the salt to the water only when it’s boiling).
I cut the asparagus lengthwise and the courgette into cubes. I heated a tablespoon of olive oil and I slightly browned the asparagus, the garlic and the courgette.
I added the tomato purée and 500 milliliters of the pasta-boiling water. I seasoned it with salt and pepper, adjusting the acidity of the sauce by adding 3-4 grams of sugar. I stirred the sauce well, without being brutal. I let it simmer on low heat, so it can reduce and become silky. I removed it from the stove and added the chopped parsley. I stirred again.
I took the paste out of the water and added them into the sauce.
I put the pasta with the sauce and all on a plate. I grated some parmesan over it.
Regarding the plating, you can choose the simplest version, meaning the pasta and the sauce piled in a bowl or in a deep plate.
Or, you can place the pasta on a plain plate with kitchen tweezers and splash some red sauce from the skillet and green parsley pesto.
The parsley pesto recipe is simple: 3 bunches of parsley, 3 tablespoons of ground salted peanuts, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, pepper, juice from one lemon, three tablespoons of cold water, all put into a blender and transformed into a paste. In order to obtain the lively color of the parsley, you need to scald it for 20 seconds and then keep it in ice water or very cold water for one minute.
This is all. Stay healthy.