It's common knowledge that strawberries are a natural addition to crumb cakes, parfaits, and cocktails. Yet I've always wanted to push the berry's boundaries, so this weekend I took the fruit to another level with a savory application.
Spaghetti and strawberries aren't a typical pairing, which is exactly why this recipe, courtesy of Manhattan restaurant Sfoglia, caught my eye. I gave it a try, despite secret fears that the end result would disappoint.
Thankfully, it didn't! Tomatoes, like rhubarb, have an acidity that's on par with strawberries, and a high-quality aged balsamic, which is more sweet than tart, helps to round out the flavors. Curious about the recipe? Then read more.
1 pound good-quality dried spaghetti (like Setaro)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
1 pound ripe strawberries, cleaned and halved
2 tablespoons good aged (eight-year-old) balsamic vinegar
1 cup San Marzano tomato purée
4 ounces reserved pasta water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated parmesan, for serving (optional)
- Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling salted water until al dente.
- In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil and half of the strawberries over medium heat. Cook until the strawberries start to release juice. Add balsamic and reduce by half.
- Add tomato purée, the rest of the strawberries, and the reserved pasta water, and reduce by half again until the sauce thickens. Season to taste.
- Toss with spaghetti. Finish with olive oil and black pepper.
- Pasta, Main Dishes