Bocconcini pronounced [Bokh-khon-CHEE-Nee] is Italian for 'mouthful'. That is exactly what we had last night; delectable mouthfuls of Insalata Caprese, otherwise known as Bocconcini and Tomato Salad. We recently splashed out on some Domaines Bunan First Press Olive Oil so we tested it out with the salad. The result was excellent. This rare oil comes from 100 year-old trees of the Domaines Bunon in Provence. The olives produce a sweet, full-flavoured oil with a very clean taste. Perfect for summer salads!
I cannot remember the name of the Balsamic we use but it is very sweet and the bottle (pictured in the photograph) had a red label on the cork which means it was aged for 12 years. I am pretty certain it is was produced in Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
The basil came straight from our herb 'garden'.
I used fresh pasta for this scrumptious dish and you can really notice the difference. The pasta was called Angel Hair but is was a lot thicker than usual. You have to be really careful not to overcook fresh pasta as the soft wheat has a lot less gluten in it than commerically made dry pasta, so it can become very limp and flabby.
The first thing to do for this recipe is prepare the tomato sauce. This part takes two hours so get cracking!
Tomato Sauce Recipe
10 Ripe Roma Tomatoes (they must be ripe)
2 tsp Chili Flakes
3 tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Sugar
1 cup of Sweet Basil Leaves
1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves of Garlic
- Roughly dice the tomatoes and place them in a large bowl with the salt and sugar. Stir well. This process helps to draw out the liquid.
- Heat the oil up in a large heavy based pot. Fry the garlic in the oil for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn.
- Carefully spoon the tomatoes into the pot. Add the Basil leaves and chili flakes, stir and cover. Bring the sauce to the boil.
- Let the sauce bubble for about 4 minutes then remove the lid and simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally.
Pasta and Prawns Recipe
2 cloves of Garlic
1 tsp olive oil
2 Sweet Basil Leaves
100ml of White Wine
Fresh or Packet Pasta
- Peel and devein the prawns.
- Finely mince the garlic.
- Bring Water to the boil. Add the fresh pasta and cook for 3 minutes. Stir the pasta to untangle it. Drain and put it back in the pot.
- Meanwhile, heat up the oil in a fry pan and gently the fry the garlic for about 1 minute. Turn the heat up and add the prawns. Stir and coat the prawns in the oil and garlic for about 30 seconds. Add the wine and shake the pan.once the wine has evaoprated in a few seconds, remove the prawns from the heat when they are still partially uncooked.
- Add the prawns to the pasta and then ladle on a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce. Stir well. The heat from the sauce will finish the cooking of the prawns.
- Serve with basil leaves to garnish.