One of my favorite dishes to make and eat is one I call ‘three tomato pomodoro’ It is easy and delicious. I previously posted a recipe for the full version of this dish. This version included using the season’s freshest tomatoes and lots of slicing and dicing. While that version is wonderful and does not take that much time to prepare, sometimes we want something even quicker for dinner. For those times, I like to use canned diced tomatoes. It cuts about 10 minutes or more off the prep time for this meal making it even quicker to get dinner on the table.
If you think the list of ingredients is long, notice that many of the items are ‘optional’. Most of the ingredients are items you probably already have in your pantry. If you do not have pine nuts or mushrooms, for example, leave them out. The dish will still be fabulous without them. While you do not actually need the fresh Roma tomatoes, I find that the addition of a few fresh tomatoes adds to the texture of the dish.
I love to keep a basil plant in my kitchen for recipes such as this. You can buy basil plants for about $3 at Trader Joe's in Mesa. Sprouts, also in Mesa, sells smaller plants for about $2.50. It sure beats paying $2 for small packages of basil available at your grocery stores, and if given water and some sunlight, they will last for months. Trader Joe's also sells large packages of fresh basil if you do not want to bother with a plant. They are about $3.50. Do not substitute dried basil in this recipe. It does not taste the same as fresh and you will not get the flavor punch you get from the fresh basil.
Easy Version -- Three Tomato Pomodoro
- 3 Roma tomatoes
- ½ Onion, diced
- 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves Garlic chopped
- ¼ lb Mushrooms, sliced, optional
- 32 oz Canned diced Tomatoes
- ½ cup Italian dressing
- 2 tbsp Red wine
- ¼ tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 cups Marinated artichokes including marinade
- 2 tbsp Sun dried tomatoes, optional
- 4 tbsp Freshly grated parmesan cheese (and more for garnishing)
- Kosher salt and Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 10-12 tbsp Fresh basil
- 8 oz Fresh mozzarella
- 2 tbsp Pine nuts (optional)
- ½ lb Angel hair pasta
- Dice the roma tomatoes. Set aside.
- Dice the onion. In a large skillet, add the olive oil. Sauté until the onions have softened, but not browned. Add the garlic and mushrooms, if using. Cook until the mushrooms soften.
- Add the canned tomatoes, Italian salad dressing, red wine and Italian seasoning. Gently heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
- To the sauce, add the artichokes along with artichoke marinade and sun dried tomatoes, if using and freshly diced tomatoes. Heat through, being careful not to ‘cook’ the newly added tomatoes since you want them to keep their shape. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Note that sauce will be very thin.
- Roll up the basil like a cigar and slice into thin strips. Add about 2 tbsp to the tomatoes right before serving.
- To serve, place angel hair pasta on a plate. Ladle tomatoes and sauce on top. Break fresh mozzarella over the top and sprinkle additional basil on top along with pine nuts, if using. Grate some fresh parmesan on top. Serve with crusty bread or roasted garlic bread to soak up the juices.
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