1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp basil dried
handful of cherry tomatoes
three to five slices of prosciutto
First chop and squash the garlic till it is a fine paste. The best way to do this is by using the side of the knife. Mincing it fine will make sure the flavour is there without having huge chunks of garlic.
Fry the garlic in extra virgin oil on low heat for around three minutes to cook it through. Extra virgin is not really used for cooking in Italy but mainly as a dressing or a dip because it is so expensive. The flavour is lost through cooking so it is seen as wasteful.
However with this dish the oil is the main player and forms the main base of the sauce so the better quality oil you get the better the sauce will taste.
Chop the tomatoes in to quarters and add everything in; the seeds will from the base of the sauce. Don’t over cook the tomatoes they should only be on the heat to warm though and to soften slightly; a little bite and texture is great for this dish.
Then tear up the prosciutto add that in to the mix. Make it small pieces this will mean there is no need to cut the sauce.
You can use ham or even bacon instead but if using uncooked meat add them in and completely cook before adding the garlic or tomatoes.
Add in the dried basil, if using fresh add in around 1 tbsp instead also add in the pepper. Don’t use any salt because the prosciutto or bacon will be salty and you don’t want to over salt the sauce.
Once the pasta is around 1 minutes off being done add in to the sauce to mix and marry the sauce and pasta together. Having the last bit of cooking done in the sauce will help the sauce and pasta mix together.
Just before you are to serve add a bit of the pasta water. The starch that has come out of the pasta will make the sauce really creamy.
Dish up and serve with some more pepper and even some parmesan reggiano.