Imagine fresh sun ripened tomatoes - sweet and juicy. Basil that smells like heaven when you shake it slightly. Best olive oil you ever tasted, produced in small village in the Italian mountainside - rich, with very distinctive notes of artichokes. Add nutty almonds and Parmigiano Reggiano and you have the best summer combo for pasta. You can obviously make pesto of these, but according to me these are so gorgeous that it would be a shame just to smash them into a smooth paste. Enjoy every bite of this. Jamie was right in "Jamie's Italy" (by the way one of my favourite cook books) - since I saw this recipe few years ago it became my new favourite and yes Tigers - I hope you are going to like it too. (the recipe comes from his book, but I have change the quantities). Have a lovely weekend (Tigers)!
200g dried pasta (I used linguine)
200g fresh baby tomatoes
handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
100g almonds, skinned
a generous splash of good extra virgin olive oil (I used the one from Ginestra)
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
4 tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
some freshly ground black pepper
Cook your pasta in salted boiling water according to the packet instructions.
While the pasta is cooking place tomatoes in a large bowl and really scrunch them with you hands, they will release a lot of lovely juices.
Dry fry the almonds in a pan, until just slightly coloured and then smash them up in a pestle and mortar or use a food processor until you have a coarse powder consistency. Really what you looking for are small pieces of almonds so they give you this extra crunch. Put them into a bowl. Add the garlic, basil, Parmesan, a generous glug of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Loosen with a little extra water from the boiled pasta and toss with your hot drained pasta.
Adjust the seasoning, divide on to two plates, and spoon any sauce that remains in the pan over the top. You can finish off with some little grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.