After being served something like this in an Italian restaurant once, I've been working on this recipe for a few years and I think I've finally perfected it. It's ready in the time it takes to cook the spaghetti. Cooking half of the tomatoes into a sauce and leaving the other half just heated was the most important innovation.
For one hungry person (me), simply scale for more or less people.
- Spaghetti, about 175-200g
- Cherry tomatoes, one large handful
- One mozarella (buffalo if you can get it)
- Parmesan (3 or 4 tablespoons and more to serve)
- Fresh basil (small handful, 10 or 15 leaves)
- Olive oil, salt, pepper
Put the spaghetti on, now to work quickly. In a separate frying pan or saucepan heat some oil and put in half the tomatoes, chopped. Whilst that's cooking, halve the rest of the tomatoes, tear up the mozarella and grate the parmesan. Marinate the mozarella for a short while by pouring olive oil over it and some salt and pepper, this gets some great flavours into the mozarella. When the tomatoes in the pan have turned into a sauce (stir and poke them to make them break down quicker), put in some salt, pepper and the rest of the tomatoes and continue to cook just until they're hot. Now add the parmesan, the mozarella and the basil (torn into small pieces) and stir to combine. Drain the spaghetti (which should be done by now) and mix the sauce with the spaghetti thoroughly (make sure the tomatoes don't get broken up when you're mixing them, and that they're evenly distributed throughout the spaghetti). If you have some really good quality extra virgin single estate olive oil you could drizzle some of this over it, but don't ruin the dish with any oil that's less than fantastic.