Pasta Al Pomodoro is slow food fast
While I love the ideals of Slow Food that are about taking time to enjoy meals with family and friends, other responsibilities have a sneaky way of demanding precedent. But even in a hurry I'm not giving up on the possibility that "good, clean and fair" food is a basic right for everyone, so I avoid fast food restaurants and other pre-packaged solutions that don't operate with those principles. Giving no quarter to a peanut butter sandwich or a fried egg as the only options, I find that using kitchen McGyver skills to make a meal out of random bits is what separates the well-fed from the drive-through.
Leftover cold pasta in the fridge and a couple of saggy tomatoes languishing with a clove of garlic in the corner can equal a hot and delicious meal in less than eight minutes. It's faster than fast food and much less expensive. And as Gordon Ramsay would say, "beautiful."
Pasta Al Pomodoro
1 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
Nuoc mam fish sauce, up to 1 teaspoon
Salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a wide skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and fry until fragrant and just turning golden. Add tomato and some salt. Turn heat up so some of the liquid evaporates and tomatoes thicken slightly. Add fish sauce — a few drops or a teaspoon. Just for "umami," not for fishy flavor. Add cold pasta and heat through.
Kim Bayer is a freelance writer and culinary researcher. Email her at kimbayer at gmail dot com.