Scamorza cheese (smoked mozzarella) elevates this simple pasta to pure perfection! With herby, honey pan roasted cherry tomatoes and brown butter pine nuts, this has a touch of luxury while being simple to prepare.
300g(11oz)pasta, long pasta shapes such as bucatini, linguine or spaghetti work well here
500g(18oz)cherry or baby plum tomatoes
4clovesgarlic , minced
2tspsfresh thyme leaves
200g(7oz)scamorza, chopped into small squares
2handfulsfresh basil, chopped
2tbspsparmesan or other Italian hard cheese, grated
The first thing we'll do is cook the cherry tomatoes
Prepare the honey balsamic glaze by whisking together the olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar.
In a deep sided frying pan or a shallow casserole dish, add the tomatoes and the glaze. Bring to a medium-high heat until the glaze starts to bubble.
Add the thyme to the pan.
Keep the heat as low as possible whilst still allowing the glaze to bubble, and stir the tomatoes regularly until they have mostly collapsed. Refer to the images in the blog post as a guide to how they should look. For me, it takes about 10 minutes but every stovetop is different. Don't worry if the glaze is fairly runny - it will thicken as it stands.
Remove from the heat and let them sit.
And while the tomatoes sit, we will prepare the rest of it.
Boil the pasta according to package instructions.
While it is cooking, add most of the basil to the cooked tomatoes and stir through. (You'll save a little basil to top the pasta with at the end)
Drain the pasta when al dente. Reserve some pasta water.
Toss the pasta into the mixture with the cherry tomatoes. Add the scamorza cubes and mix through until they start to soften, but not quite melting (you may need to put on a very low heat to achieve this). Then let that sit while you cook the pine nuts. You want everything ready before starting the pine nuts.
Add the pine nuts and butter to a small frying pan or milk pan. Heat until the butter is starting to bubble slightly, and then turn the heat down as low as possible. Mix continuously and after 4-5 minutes the butter should be a slightly browning and smell toasty.
Pour the pine nuts and butter over the top of the spaghetti.
Serve, adding a little extra basil and some grated parmesan cheese to the top of each bowl.
Don't be tempted to try to overlap cooking the tomatoes and cooking the pasta. Cooking the tomatoes fully before you start the pasta really gives the best result as it allows the tomatoes time to stand. The sauce thickens and they get stickier and jammier and far more delicious.Sources: Inspiration from Fox Valley Foodie and Kitchen Stories