I recently got my hands on some frozen na-no-hana (flowering canola), which to me is a real symbol of Japanese spring. So, yes, a weird thing to be buying at the onset of autumn, but I couldn’t resist.
I’d wanted to make a recipe from her book Uchi No Shuumatsu Gohan (Homestyle Weekend Meals) that combines na-no-hana with a tomato-based pasta sauce. Now was my chance!
I had some homemade tomato pasta sauce crying out to be used, so I used that as my base, adding the grilled spring onions and na-no-hana to it. Nemoto Kiko’s recipe follows:
Na-no-hana Tomato Pasta
3 sun-dried tomatoes
the white stem of 1 large spring onion
½ a bunch of na-no-hana (approx 150 g)
160 g spaghetti
3 Tbsps olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
Remove the stem from the fresh tomato and roughly cube. Soak the dried tomatoes in water to plump, then slice finely. (Omit this step if using oil-packed dried tomatoes). Cut the spring onion into 3 cm lengths.
Heat the olive oil in a frypan and fry the tomatoes over a low heat until lightly crushed.
Grill the spring onion and na-no-hana until lightly browned.
Cook the spaghetti to packet directions, then add to the tomato pan. Adjust flavours with salt, then transfer to serving dish. Top with the grilled spring onions and na-no-hana and freshly ground black pepper.