This is an all-star of a recipe and one of my absolute favorites, especially in the summer months. It highlights the best of the summer garden- fresh cherry tomatoes & fragrant basil.
It’s a dish that has the ability to transport me to somewhere in Italy in the summertime. (Where? I don’t know- but it’s my daydream- feel free to share in my imaginary trip!) It’s fresh, vibrant and surprisingly light. Serve with a glass of crisp, white wine and you too, will be transported to land of delicious simplicity.
I use homemade spaghetti which is very thin and light, but if you aren’t up for making your own pasta dough, just use angel hair or capellini.
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes halved
- Good olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic 6 cloves
- 18 large basil leaves julienned, plus extra for serving
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound angel hair pasta capellini, or fresh spaghetti
- 1 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
Combine the cherry tomatoes, ½ cup olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for about 4 hours.
Just before you’re ready to serve, bring a large pot of water with 2 tablespoons salt to a boil.
Heat the the tomato mixture in a large (12-inch) saute pan and cook on medium-low and cook for about 3 minutes minutes, tossing occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften but don’t break up. You just want to heat through.
Time this with when you add your pasta to the boiling water which also only takes 2-3 minutes according to package instructions. Drain the pasta well (I prefer to pull with tongs rather than dump into a colander, reserving the pasta water.
Add the pasta to the bowl with the cherry tomatoes. Add the cheese and some extra fresh basil leaves and toss well. Serve with extra cheese on each serving.
*If the pasta is dry, add a dash of pasta water to loosen up and make more of a sauce. You can also add a dash of more of olive oil if necessary. (Every pasta is a different. You need to use a little judgement.)