The inspiration for this bicultural pasta came from Cafe Seiyoken, a chic New York establishment that prides itself on making waves on the culinary shores of the American east coast.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and, one at a time, blanch the tomatoes for 4–5 seconds. Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl of cold water. Slice them in half and peel off the skins. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-duty skillet, then sauté the garlic and onion over medium heat until the vegetables are fragrant and translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and season the mixture with the salt and syrupy rice wine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the tomato sauce, stirring occasionally, for 5–6 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender and the sauce slightly thickened. If the mixture should look in danger of scorching, add a few drops of cold water to the skillet.
In a large pot, bring at least
Toss the cooked and drained noodles into the tomato sauce and cook for 1 minute, or until warmed through.
Rinse the shiso or mint leaves under cold water and trim away their stems. With your fingers, tear the leaves into small pieces and use these to garnish the noodles with tomato sauce. Serve immediately with freshly ground black pepper, if you wish.
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.