As I write this, gazing through my office window at the Maritime snow storm blanketing my city, I am very aware that winter is here. Ol’ Saint Nick is just around the corner.
For the home cook, chef, and avid eater, the holidays are an especially wonderful time. The ultimate joy in cooking is in preparing meals for family & friends, sitting around the table long into the night, and really allowing yourself to not just eat, but to dine together. It’s all about the experience. And the holiday season is tailor-made for social food gatherings.
I’m not quite sure what your home is like during the holiday season, but if it’s anything like ours, there tends to be a lot of hungry unexpected drop-ins. I love this, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it can be a challenge to know exactly what to prepare quickly and stress free, so you can get back to spending quality time with good people. Quick, easy, comforting, and completely delicious.
I was recently introduced to the mighty Kumato®, a brown fruit from the tomato family tree, and holy deliciousness friends. Absolutely bursting with flavour. My friends at SUNSET® completely blew me away with their incredible product, and I immediately fell in love.
This dish is perfect for those times you need to throw a dish together quickly, but still want to dress to impress. Garlic Chili Kumato Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella. Ready in only 25 minutes, with a little heat to warm you up on those chilly evenings. Completely comforting.
Garlic Chili Kumato Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella
Serves 4 – 6
For the sauce:
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup leeks
1/3 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon basil stalks
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely diced
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
For the pasta:
1lb (500 grams) pasta
1 ball fresh mozzarella
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
Fresh ground black pepper and red chilli flakes, to top
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
First, mince the garlic, wash and finely slice the leeks, and quarter the kumatos.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat, and pour in 1/3 cup of olive oil. When warm, add the garlic and chilli flakes, and cook for 45 seconds. Add the leeks to the saucepan, toss together, and cook another 3 minutes. Pour in the red wine and bring to a simmer. Allow the wine to bubble away and reduce by half, about 5 minutes.
When the wine has reduced, pour in the vegetable stock and kumatos. Add the lemon zest, season with salt and pepper, and bring the sauce to a simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer away uncovered for 10 minutes, giving it a stir every few minutes so it doesn’t catch. Remove from the heat, and stir in the diced basil and grated parmesan.
While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in your boiling water according to the package directions. Drain, and toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
With a pair of tongs, toss the pasta and sauce together. Transfer cooked pasta to a large serving dish. Top the pasta with the fresh mozzarella, drizzle over 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and top with fresh basil and cracked black pepper.