Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Simple Black Russian Tomato Pasta

What is this?  A recipe!?  I actually LOVE cooking, but barely have time to do it.  Normally I love to cook curries and rich sauces the most and play with the balance of flavours and nuances.  So this recipe is incredibly simple, because I was dying to use my Black Russian tomatoes that I had ripening in the boiler cupboard.

Depending on your screen you might not be able to see the full, gorgeous colouring of a Black Russian tomato.  It is not simply red but a deep, rich pink, with a dark brown, almost black pattern on the top.  Interestingly, as you will have seen previous posts, they grow with a darker green section on top prior to ripening, rather than being all the same and changing post ripen.  (see below)

Oh look its Triplette!
So, you can obviously change this around and add more into it if you like, but I found the flavour of these tomatoes was so strong and perfectly complimented the onions.

Ingredients: (Serves 2 as a small portion accompanying pasta, feel free to adjust levels to suit the number you are catering for)

- 3 Large Black Russian Tomatoes - Make sure they are fully ripened as the top ripens later than the bottom
- 1 medium or large onion (I used a brown onion, and we only use large ones because we love onion)
- Fresh or frozen peas (or sweetcorn if you have any, I sadly had run out!) - I use a large amount, approx. 2 cupped handfuls, but it depends how much you like them, and I also used frozen ones in this particular case
- Ground cumin
- Ground tumeric
- 1 generous teaspoon Garlic, ginger & chilli paste (we always have a ton of this made up for curries, but basically chop equal amounts of these 3 ingredients finely and blend into a near-puree state.  You can keep this in the fridge in an airtight container for around a month, but its best used fresher if possible).
- Fresh coriander leaves and stems, torn into smaller pieces


- Chop up tomatoes into small pieces (I like the skins so I never take them off, but some people don't, so feel free to skin them at this point)
- Heat oil in a pan on a medium-low heat and chop onion
- Add the tomatoes first so that they sear slightly
- Add the ground spices, garlic, ginger & chilli paste and stir to mix into and coat the tomatoes
- Add the chopped onion (as I said, if you're not a big onion fan, add less/a smaller onion)

- Stir in onion so this is also coated with spices.  If you are looking to go spicier this is the time to add any optional extra chopped chillis or powders, so that they mix well with the oil and the other spices
- Boil some water in a separate pot, add a vegetable stock cube and cook some pasta (appropriate amount for however many you are serving).  Typically I like mine served somewhere between al dente and mush, but you can obviously adjust according to how you like yours

- Add peas - I used frozen, so as they heat up, they provide water to the sauce.  If you are using fresh, you will need to add some water to thicken into a sauce

- After adding the peas cook for a minimum of 5 further minutes, add fresh coriander torn up until wilted, and serve on top of the pasta.  You can also add basil but I didn't have any ready because I'd harvested much of it the night before for a different meal. 

If you want a more sauce-like sauce, cook for longer and add more water.  I served with the onions still a little on the more crunchy side, because I feel it better compliments the flavour of this particular tomato.

My tomatoes were very high in flavour, so I only needed three to get a big impact, and they balanced nicely with the strong onion flavours.  I highly recommend growing this variety to anyone who hasn't tried them before.  They are a delight to grow and even more delicious than they look.  They have a rich, tangy flavour and go far in terms of flavour strength.  I haven't tried them raw yet, but I imagine their colouring would add interest to a salad dish.  I fed the plants weekly while growing fruits.


  1. We had something called a tangy tomato pasta at an RSPB reserve cafe the other week that was delicious and this sound similar (other than the peas) so we must try it,

    1. Go for it Sue. The good part is this is so simple you can add in what you like. I'm going to try a leafier version and maybe add in some squash too once the rest of my Black Russians have ripened in the boiler cupboard