One of the fun things about cooking is that there’s no rule that you have to stick to one culture or style of cuisine. Once you know what you’re doing, you can make whatever you want, and it’s ok if the dishes are downright whimsical, as long as they taste great. Cook’s Illustrated had an article on tomato sauces recently, and I was going to try it out. But then, in the grocery store, I decided to go in another direction …
It started when I noticed the grocery store actually had Thai basil.
4 large heirloom tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
1 package Thai basil
2 tbsp fish sauce
Red pepper flakes (to taste)
The type of noodles doesn’t really matter much, since the sauce is pretty flavorful. The article claimed that a lot of the tomato flavor comes from the skins, so leave them on. Saute mushrooms. Meanwhile, put tomatoes, fish sauce, and red pepper flakes into blender and blend until smooth. Add tomato puree to mushrooms, and reduce by a third. Add thai basil and cook for a few more minutes. Serve over noodles.
High quality tomatoes make a great tomato sauce, and the fish sauce, thai basil and red pepper flakes give it a bit more of a complex taste than a traditional spaghetti sauce.