Spaghetti with Tomato and Oregano Dressing

It’s autumn now and the weather is changing. Some cool and wet days, with only the occasional hot one. There’s new produce in the market, and with that, the inspiration and anticipation of delicious dishes coming together in the kitchen: ingredients lovingly prepared for family and friends. But before I go there, the last of the tomatoes are still available, and these are sun kissed and sweet, ready to be used, but not fiddled with too much.

So as it happened, last weekend I found myself with a mixture of organic tomatoes from Moonacres Farm, little yellow pear shaped ones, cherry tomatoes, Roma and ox-heart. And all with a hell of a lot of character, as all organic fruit and vegetables should: so sweet and fragrant. As I had very little time to spare, I decided to make this delicate tomato sauce to serve with spaghetti, which I have adapted slightly from a recipe of good friend and Sydney restaurateur, Lucio Galletto. The flavours aren’t strong, just tomato, garlic, oregano and olive oil, and if you are lucky to have great produce, just let it shine, and command the attention that it deserves. Enjoy.

Serves 4

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 600g ripe tomatoes, a variety is nice
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Handful of oregano leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 400g spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese for serving

Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to the boil, and rub the inside of your serving bowl with the cut surfaces of the garlic. Now cut up your tomatoes. I didn’t skin them, but as I had a variety of shapes and sizes, I cut the little ones into small pieces and didn’t bother about the seeds. The bigger ones, I cut in half, squeezed out the seeds, and then sliced them up into little pieces. Once done, pop them in the bowl and dress with the olive oil, most of the oregano, salt and pepper and set aside while you cook the pasta.

When the water is boiling, throw in your pasta and cook until al dente. Drain well, then tip into the serving bowl and toss quickly through the sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining oregano leaves, and serve with Parmesan if desired.