This fresh, summery dish is a specialty of Positano on the spectacular Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana) in Italy where it's usually made with spaghetti. For a more substantial dish, I like to add cooked chickpeas and some diced, seeded cucumber for extra crunch. Baby bocconcini and pitted black olives are also good additions and you can substitute the basil with freshly chopped flat leaf parsley and oregano.
The recipe in my book Entertaining At Home where it forms part of an impromptu meal from the pantry.
The Amalfi Coast is famous for its excellent pasta (from nearby Gragnano), milky mozzarella and flavourful ripe tomatoes from the lush Agerola plateau which sits above the Bay of Salerno. Excellent with one of Marisa Cuomo's wines from Furore.
- ripe baby plum tomatoes - about 20, sliced in half lengthways
- red onion - 1/2, peeled and diced
- celery - 2 stalks, peeled and thinly sliced
- garlic - 1 - 2 cloves, very finely chopped
- fresh basil leaves - 1/3 - 1/2 cup, washed, dried and torn
- extra virgin olive oil - 3 - 4 tablespoons
- spaghetti or linguine - 400g (di Martino or De Cecco)
- sea flakes and freshly cracked pepper
Serves 4 as an entree, 2 -3 as a main course
Place the halved tomates in a large serving bowl with the onion, celery, garlic and herbs. Drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside for 15 - 20 minutes to allow the flavours to mingle and develop.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add salt and spaghetti and cook until al dente.
Drain, and toss immediately through the salad vegetables. Taste for seasoning.