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Pasta Al Forno
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    Pasta Al Forno

  • 1 quantity tomato chipotle sauce as below
  • 1 round mozzarella cheese (c 100 g/4 ozs)
  • 100 g/4 ozs *freshly grated* Parmesan (you can use the packet grated but it always smells like old socks to me)
  • Handful fresh basil, chopped roughly
  • 250 g/8 ozs dried pasta such as penne rigate or similar

    Tomato Chipotle Sauce

  • 1 14oz can tomatoes (the better the quality of these the better the sauce or substitute 1lb skinned fresh ripe tomatoes preferably plum)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, skinned and chopped fine
  • 3 or 4 whole chipotles (or chipotles en adobo)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil (preferably extra virgin - I like Cretan oil best -Kolymvari is a good brand)
  • Place all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to simmering point while mashing the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon. Simmer gently covered for 30 minutes. If at the end of this time the sauce is too thin reduce by boiling with lid off. Add salt to taste.

    Note:This sauce should not be extra hot, rather it should have a predominately tomato taste with an undercurrent of smoky heat. Don't overdo the salt at the end, both dishes it is used with have salt in them. You can also use this sauce for thin pastas like spaghetti, in which case add a medium onion, skinned and halved, at the beginning, remove it before serving and add chopped fresh basil to the sauce 5 minutes before serving.

  • Preheat oven to gas mark 6/200C. Cook pasta in boiling water until slightly before al dente (it will cook further in the oven). Drain pasta and set aside.

    Chop mozarella finely and add to tomato sauce with 3/4 of grated parmesan and 3/4 of basil. Stir, cover and simmer for a few minutes more until cheese melts.

    Mix pasta thoroughly with sauce, turn into oiled gratin or lasagne dish. Scatter remaining basil and parmesan over top. Bake in top part of oven for 15-20 minutes until browned on top. Serve with green salad and a good Chianti (eg Antinori) or Rosso di Montalcino (Il Poggione or Col D'Orcia).
    Carnivores can also add sliced Italian pizza or luganega sausage (1/4 inch thick sliced on bias) to this when the cheeses are put into the sauce, brown the luganega slices in a little oil first. Spanish chorizo also works well.

    From: Iain Noble
    Posted By:Iain Noble
    Post Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997



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