Years before I moved to London or knew who Nigel Slater was, I was cooking one of his recipes on the regular whilst living with friends and listening to Louis Prima most days in West Los Angeles.
One summer, my friend’s mother who had taken up part-time residence in England brought back the most beautiful cookbook. It had matte pages and gorgeous photos and excellent writing. Though I’d never heard of Nigel Slater, I loved The Kitchen Diaries.
Many of the recipes are delicious, but one in particular quickly became my favorite. It was a simple pasta dish with oven roasted tomatoes, garlic, basil, and cream. I am ashamed to say that I don’t own a copy of the book myself, but I have been making this for years by memory. Each time it always satisfies.
500g cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
a bunch of basil, ripped
pecorino and parmesan cheese
While the water for you pasta boils, pre-heat your grill. Place the tomatoes on a large baking tray and cover them with some olive oil and salt. Once your pasta is cooking, put the baking tray under the grill. Cook the tomatoes until parts of them are black. Pull them out, add the garlic, give it all a stir and put back under the grill for another minute. Drain your pasta. In a large bowl, combine the roasted garlic and tomatoes with salt, pepper, and a bit of the cream. As it’s not my place to tell you how creamy your sauce should be, add it tablespoon by tablespoon until you get the texture and flavor you desire. Lastly, add the basil leaves. Pour this sauce into a large pot. Add the cooked noodles and stir to coat. Serve with cheese.