A bright and tasty summer dish from Matt Preston
1 bunch mint
200 g feta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small brown onion, halved and thinly sliced crossways
2 teaspoons brown sugar
5 garlic cloves, peeled, bruised and finely chopped
500 g dried angel hair pasta or spaghetti
2 × 400 g cans best-quality canned tomatoes (it’s good if these come from Aussie farmers and an Aussie cannery)
salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
1. First up, a little preparation. Pluck 10 leaves off the bunch of mint and shred finely; cut a lemon into 6 wedges; cut 50 g of the feta off the block. This will be your garnish.
2. In a large frying pan heat the olive oil.
3. Put a large pot of well-salted water onto a good heat. Throw the onions into the hot pan and fry, stirring occasionally, until browned.
4. When browned – after about 5 minutes – sprinkle the sugar over the onions and toss. Add the garlic and toss for a couple of minutes. When the water starts to boil, add the pasta and stir in a cup of cold water.
5. Return to the boil and then simmer until almost al dente (or still a little firm to the bite).
6. Stir the canned tomatoes into the onion mixture, mashing as you go. Cook for a couple of minutes.
7. Now remove from the heat and squeeze in the juice of the other lemon. Finely slice the rest of the mint (it is okay if some of the finer stalks are sliced along with the leaves, assuming you slice very finely) and stir into the sauce.
8. Drain and stir in the pasta, along with the other 150 g feta, which you should crumble over the pasta. Taste and season with a little salt, pepper and extra lemon juice if the mint flavour is too strong.
9. Serve the pasta in bowls garnished with the extra mint leaves, some pristine white feta crumbs and a wedge of lemon.
This recipe appears in Cook Book by Matt Preston, available now from Pan Macmillan.