My fastest tomato sauce for our summer of love


Tomatoes, basil and pasta. It’s such a cliché. It’s such a classic. It’s such a simple dish. And it can taste either so boring or so good, it all depends on the quality of the ingredients and the love and thought that is put into preparation. The pasta sauce I’m sharing with you today is actually not a sauce, it’s a love story. I first met that sauce 20 years ago at the house of my friends Henrike and Heinz. I was a teenager at that time and I met these lovely people at one of Heinz’ art vernissages (he is a painter). We liked it each other instantly and this was the start of a great friendship with a lot of Italian food that we shared outdoors in their yard after working and painting together in Heinz art studio. Heinz was a great teacher to me and gave me a lot of advice and a lot of freedom to do my own paintings and sculpturing in his space. The two of them and their three children were a real inspiration for me at that time (and they still are). They honoured the quality of time, of being together, of good food, of culture more than anybody else I knew. They liked the good and simple things. I will always remember a story they told me about their first holiday trip they ever took together. There is nothing spectacular about that story but I like the spirit that is talking through it: Heinz and Henrike decided to take a trip to Italy. They departed from their German home (I think they both used to live in his artist’s studio at that time) with nothing than a little shopping basket with some clothes to change. I don’t remember every detail of the story but there is this story of the night they spent in an Italian outdoor cinema. They were sitting outside in the summer night under the stars, watching an Italian movie that they didn’t even understand and just enjoying the beauty of the moment.

This is over 30 years ago and they are still together and they are also still my friends – bless you two!

Well, coming back to my recipe of the day: I first had this pasta sauce at their house 20 years ago and it is a true and faithful friend of mine that I mostly see in summer time. I wished I could say I can give you a recipe for being in a happy relationship for over 30 years. But at least this is a nice basic recipe that can stay with you for many summers of your life.

Ingredients (serves 2 people in love):

  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced (my friends use to add MUCH more garlic. So: feel free to find out how much YOU like)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple sirup (I like to add that for balancing the often slightly sour taste of tomatoes)
  • 1 handful basil leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a pinch of  dried chile pepper

Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan, remove it from heat and add the tomatoes. After about 5 minutes remove tomatoes from the water and peel their skin. Cut them into pieced and put them in the blender. Add all other ingredients and blend. Pour over your favourite kind of cooked (“al dente”) pasta. I used light Kamut spaghetti. Enjoy this Italian moment and the romance of it. Buon appetito!

You too have a nice romantic memory of some summer night? Want to share? Then please leave a reply below!
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