Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil

IMG_1677I know – it sounds so mundane. But sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that something so simple, with just the freshest ingredients can be so perfect – simple and satisfying. And let’s face it, life is complicated enough. I’m not breaking new ground here, but this is a dish that if made properly is as good as a pasta dish gets without any bells or whistles.

Beautiful ovoid Roma plum tomatoes are becoming available now and will only get better as the summer goes on. Fresh garlic and bright green basil leaves with a good olive oil and the best Parmigiano Reggiano. Treat yourself to a full-bodied red wine and a crusty loaf of bread. You’re done! Mangia!

Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Basil

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients   IMG_1653

6 large Roma Plum Tomatoes, cut in quarters lengthwise and then sliced into 1/2 inch chunks

2 Tablespoons chopped garlic

2 Tablespoons Evoo

1/3 cup salted pasta water

Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

1/4 cup torn or chiffonaded green or purple basil

1 pound spaghetti rigati or fettucine


  1. Start cooking your pasta according to package directions for al dente.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the 2 Tablespoons of EVOO. Add the chopped garlic and about 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt. On medium heat saute the garlic for about 3 minutes. Do not allow the garlic to brown.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and about 10 cracks of fresh black pepper. Saute for another 5 to 8 minutes or just until the tomatoes are beginning to soften. Just before the pasta has finished cooking, take 1/3 cup of pasta water and add it to the pan with the tomatoes and garlic.
  4. Drain your pasta and pour it back into the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and cook on medium heat for one more minute.
  5. Portion out into bowls. Generously add the torn basil on top, drizzle some EVOO and grate the Parmigiano over that. Don’t be stingy. That’s it – you’re done. Now go eat!


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