Here’s another super easy but super flavourful pasta dinner, with next to no cooking. Perfect for a summer evening and using the bounty of the season’s tomatoes.
Stracchino is quite probably my favourite young, soft cheese – it’s pretty much just incredibly thick cream, so smooth and delicate. While you will find recipes for making your own online, all the ones I’ve looked at include rennet, which stracchino cheese does not normally have, using milk enzymes instead. The name stracchino comes from the word stracch, a word in the Lombard dialect meaning tired. It alludes to the milk produced by the cows tired by the seasonal migration to the valley after the mountain pasture during the summer months.
Makes 4 generous servings
Preparation: 10 minutes
Marinating: at least 2 hours
Cooking: about 3 minutes
If you can’t get stracchino (a.k.a. crescenza) cheese, you can use mascarpone or fresh mozzarella
250g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried thyme
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup black olives
1 Tbsp capers or caper berries
3 Tbsp olive oil
handful fresh basil leaves
250g (9 oz) stracchino
500g (about 1lb) angel hair pasta (capellini)
Quarter the cherry tomatoes and put them in a medium sized mixing bowl.
Crush the garlic over the tomatoes, roughly chop the olives and capers and add them along with the dried herbs, salt and pepper and sugar.
Drizzle the olive oil over the top then stir to combine everything well. Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours, the longer the better, stirring occasionally.
Tear the basil into pieces and set aside.
Cook the pasta according to the packet directions, until al dente. Drain, reserving a little pasta cooking water, and return pasta to the pot. Toss the tomato mixture through the pasta, adding a little of the pasta cooking water as needed to make it saucy.
Toss through the basil, transfer to a serving platter or plates and dollop on the stracchino. Serve immediately.