Our Rome trip has been hovering over me for the past few weeks and I have been so desperately waiting for our next vacation and deep down my heart I feel Roma saying “Vieni con me(!)” meaning Come to me(!). Have you been to Rome ever? I remember those endless walks across the streets lined up with all the high end luxurious shops, frequent stops for Gelato or a cup of hot brewed fresh coffee with tiramisu, pigeons flying around, drinking water from the street taps, visit to beautiful colosseum, pantheon, St.Peters Basilica, Fontana di trevi, Sistine chapel, and the list is never ending.We spent 6 days there and I feel I have explored just a bit of Rome .Well all this must have made clear to you, how much I am missing my Roman vacation right now. So I thought the only way I can get a feel of it is to make something italian and as they say
Nothing says Italy like its food, and nothing says Italian food like pasta.
So the search for the perfect Pasta recipe began. I always had this notion in my head that making pasta sauce from scratch is an easy task and so having this attitude in my mind i tried making it few days back and it was an utter disaster. Did I tell you that my husband is an amazing cook and he is my best critic too. So this time I resolved to make it the proper way and get it right. I came across Mr.Jamie’s blog and decided to make Jamie’s baked pasta with tomatoes and mozzarella.
Baked pasta with red tomato sauce and mozzarella ( Inspired from Jamie Olivers Baked pasta with tomatoes and mozzarella)
- Black pepper
- Red chili flakes
- Basil powder or fresh basil leaves
- Red wine vinegar ( I used Balsamic vinegar instead and found it still tasty )
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, finely minced ( I enjoy more garlicy flavour, but add according to your taste)
- 2 14-oz cans of good quality tomatoes
- Any good small sized pasta
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese according to taste
- Fresh ball of mozzarella
Heat some olive oil around 2-3 tbsp in a pan and add onion and garlic and fry for about 10 minutes on a medium to low heat until softened but without any color.If you’re using fresh tomatoes, put them into the boiling water for about 40 seconds until their skin starts to come off.
Put the tomatoes into a bowl and run cold water over them, then slide the skins off. I prefer to leave the seeds but if you don’t like them you can remove the seeds before chopping the tomatoes. Add your fresh or canned tomatoes to the onion and garlic, with a small glass of water.Now add fresh basil leaves or basil powder, salt, red chili flakes, black pepper and vinegar according to taste. Mix the sauce properly and adjust the seasoning. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 20 minutes. Now put them through a food processor or blender to make a loose sauce.
Now boil water in another pot. Add the pasta to the water and cook according to the packet instructions, then drain and toss with half of the tomato sauce and a handful of Parmesan. Get a baking dish and rub it with a little olive oil. Layer a little pasta in the pan, followed by some tomato sauce, a handful of grated Parmesan and slices of mozzarella ball, then repeat these layers until you’ve used all the ingredients, ending with a good layer of cheese on top. Pop it into the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden, crisp and bubbling. If your baking dish is safe for broiler, then broil it for a minute or two.
Serve it hot. We enjoyed it with hot garlic bread and a glass of red wine.
P.S when it came out, we got so excited to eat that we forgot to take pictures. Sorry for that. But next time i make it, i will post some amazing pictures for sure .