Many years ago, a simple bowl of spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce was on the cover of Gourmet and the beautifully photographed image has stuck with me ever since. Strangely, I don’t think I ever actually made it, although I have considered it every summer. Then, the other night a friend whipped up a version with heirloom tomatoes, cooking the garlic first then adding it to the tomatoes.
I took note, and slowly simmered my garlic in olive oil before tossing it with tomatoes, basil and brown rice fettuccini. After eating this for lunch, and then accidently eating it for dinner too, I think there is no better way to indulge in the tomato-basil combination. The texture of brown rice fettuccini goes really well with the light juicy sauce, and I swear you won’t miss the wheat!
Fresh Tomato and Basil Brown Rice Fettuccini
The beauty of this dish is that it gets better over time. Make it ahead and let it sit at room temperature for a couple of hours if you like. I love eating this as is, but it’s also yummy topped with cheese.
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 large red tomatoes, ½-inch dice
Handful sun gold cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons balsamic
2 cups basil leaves, torn
Large pinch sea salt
½ package brown rice fettuccini (about 7 oz)
1. Combine 4 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic in a small skillet over low heat. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Set aside.
2. Place tomatoes, balsamic, basil, salt and pepper in a serving bowl and toss to combine. Set aside while you cook the pasta.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the fettuccini, and cook for 12 minutes.
4. Stir the pasta constantly for the first 2 minutes to prevent it from sticking together. Drain and add to the tomato mixture, drizzle in olive oil and garlic and toss well. Season to taste.
Amy Chaplin is a vegetarian chef living in New York City . She grew up in rural New South Wales Australia where cooking and eating meals from her family’s organic garden sparked her passion for fresh seasonal ingredients and handmade food. Amy now cooks and teaches privately. Visit her blog, Coconut and Quinoa.