Yesterday we went to visit our friends Stefano and Gianna who have a hot air balloon company in Chianti. They recently moved near to us, on a farm and have a fabulous litte Orto ,home garden, with three kinds of tomatoes, watermelon, cabbage and of course an herb garden, basil, sage, rosemary and parsley.
Gianna's Dad,Luciano is one of the oldest butchers in the San Lorenzo market, so the meat is always first quality!
We got together to plan my husbands 50th birthday party. 10 years ago we all went hot air ballooning with Robert, in Southern Tuscany and we are planning our anniversary flight! Double balloons this year!!!
50 ANNI IN MONGOLFIERA
50 years in hot air balloons....
Stefano is a fabulous chef and now that his garden is ready.. he offered us dinner... from the garden to the table.
He calls this dish.. linguine areostatici... we were joking that the spaghetti was flying over fields of the ripe tomatoes!!!
He harvested some Pomodori Fiorentini, a heirloom tomato that is always used for sauces.
The he cut them in half, width-wise, and sauted them in a non-stick skillet, with a pinch of salt and 1/2 cup of hot water.
When the tomatoes seem cooked, he flipped them over and chopped them up lightly, just with a wooden spatula,and let them cook more. He then added some torn basil and at the very end some raw garlic slices.
Surprise! So Un Italian!!! He then placed the raw linguine ( DeCecco) in top of the sauce, adding another 1/4 cup of hot water( salted). Continuing until the pasta was cooked.
he stirred and stirred as for risotto... letting the pasta absorb the rich tomato sauce, adding water as needed to help with the cooking.
Voila! Tender, al dente pasta cooked perfectly in a fresher than fresh sauce. A first and last drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese stirred in and the last minute.
A labor of love as one must stand and stir.. but a worth it for the concentration of the tomato into a sublime celebration if summer!
PS I also came home with my own bag of tomatoes!