Pasta with double tomato sauce
“I read Patience Gray’s recipe for salsa doppia while visiting Grottaglie, a small town that has been known for centuries for its artisan ceramics,” says Emiko Davies. “Gray describes the oversized salt-glazed dishes typical of Grottaglie’s ceramics – a communal serving bowl for the entire family. Although the custom of eating from the same bowl has disappeared, I like to serve my salsa doppia layered in a bowl to present at the table and then portion out.”
3 ripe tomatoes (about 550gm), diced 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 80 ml (⅓ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced 400 gm tomato passata
½ cup (loosely packed) basil 320 gm short dried pasta, such as orecchiette or penne 40 gm pecorino, ricotta salata or parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve
1 Combine diced tomato, garlic, half the oil and a good pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir well and set aside so that the juices are drawn out of the tomatoes.
2 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.
3 Prepare a tomato sauce by gently heating the onion and remaining oil with a generous pinch of salt in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat until the onions begin to sizzle and soften without colouring (5-7 minutes). If the onions begin to brown, add a splash of water or reduce the heat. Add the passata with about 80ml water and a few whole basil leaves. Season and simmer over a medium heat until thickened (10 minutes).
4 Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente, then drain. 5 In a large serving bowl, layer half the pasta, half the cheese and the tomato sauce, followed by the rest of the pasta, the rest of the cheese and the diced tomato with its juices. Top with torn basil leaves and present it to the table. When serving, give it a stir so each portion has a bit of everything. Serve with extra grated cheese.