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Spaghetti with Fermented Tomato Sauce

Fermenting tomatoes isn’t just good due to its waste-minimising magic – the flavour is delicious and complex, too. If you’re short of time or fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes would still work well.

Recipes and styling Jane Lyons. Photography Aimee Finlay-Magne

Serves 4

Fermented tomato sauce

  • 6-8 soft tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 200g feta, cut into 4 thin sheets
  • 1/4 cup thyme and parsley, roughly chopped 
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 500g dried spaghetti
  • 1 cup fermented tomato sauce
  • cracked black pepper, to serve

To ferment tomatoes, place in a medium-sized glass bowl with salt. Using clean hands, combine. Cover with a muslin cloth or tea towel and leave in a cool, dark place for 3-4 days, stirring twice daily. A small amount of white mould may develop on the surface – this is harmless and can be stirred in. Taste after a couple of days – it will start to develop a light fizziness and a strong, tart flavour. Once you are happy with the flavour, transfer to a sterilised glass jar and store in the fridge. 

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line a small roasting dish with baking paper. Place thin sheets of feta in roasting dish and top with herbs and olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes. 

Cook spaghetti according to the packet instructions. Drain and toss with a little olive oil. Heat fermented tomato sauce in a large frying pan and add drained spaghetti. Cook for 5-10 minutes to heat through. Serve topped with baked feta sheets, cracked pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

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