February 11, 2019
4 – Tbls. olive oil, plus additional for finishing on plate
3-4 – Cloves of garlic, sliced (optional, as not traditional)
6 – Large basil leaves
32 – Oz. fresh grape/campari tomatoes slided/quartered or canned tomatoes
6 – Oz. grated parmesan cheese
1 – Lb. dry pasta; larger, thicker noodles work best, but spaghetti is great, too.
1. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy pot, a dutch oven works best. Place another large pot of salted water on high heat to bring to a boil.
2. If using garlic, add and sauté until golden brown, then (or) add basil land cook until leaves are slightly wilted and crispy on the edges.
3. Add tomatoes and stir to coat. Increase heat to medium and bring to a nice simmer, gentle stirring and pressing the juice from the tomatoes. Add a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper.
4. Turn heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Add about 4 ounces of grated parmesan cheese before adding pasta and stir to melt into the sauce. Taste for seasoning
5. Once pot of water is at a boil, add pasta and cook to directions for al dente, or even a minute less.
6. Drain pasta reserving at least 2 cups of pasta water or use a spider slotted spoon to add pasta to sauce. Add in about 1 cup of the pasta water and stir. Add additional water to thicken the sauce, as needed. Taste again and adjust seasoning, if needed.
7. Serve in a large bowl immediately drizzeling with a great olive oil, additional parmesan cheese, and a sprig of fresh basil, if you’d like.
Avoid a thinner, softer noodle. Consider a cavatappi, ziti or penne noodle, as it grabs onto more sauce. Garlic is optional, but I can’t imagine a pasta dish without the flavor. Total cook time is about 30-45 minutes, and makes great leftovers.
The Culinary Institute of Tuscany via Olive Garden Restaurants.
Entree, Pasta, Side Dish,