- 350g penne rigate, uncooked
- 150g mozzarella, cubed
- a little finely-grated Parmesan, to serve
- a few whole basil leaves, to garnish
- For the fresh tomato sauce:
- 1,15kg fresh, red, ripe tomatoes, skinned
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 fat clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- about 12 large leaves fresh basil
- salt and freshly-milled black pepper
- Start by reserving 3 of the tomatoes for later and roughly chop the rest. Next, heat the oil in a medium saucepan, then add the onion and garlic and let them gently cook for 5 to 6 minutes until they are softened and golden. Now add the chopped tomatoes with a third of the basil, torn into pieces. Add some salt and freshly milled black pepper, then all you do is let the tomatoes simmer on a very low heat, without a lid, for 1½ hours or until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes are reduced to a thick, jam-like consistency, stirring now and then. Roughly chop the reserved tomatoes and stir them in, along with the rest of the torn basil leaves.
- When you are ready to eat, gently re-heat the tomato sauce and put the pasta on to cook. Stir the mozzarella into the sauce and let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, by which time the cheese will have begun to melt. Serve the sauce spooned over the drained pasta, sprinkle with Parmesan and add a few fresh basil leaves as a garnish.