This super quick pasta is ready by the time the pasta is ‘al dente’. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal or your special Valentine!
- 1 pound spaghetti (or other favorite pasta)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- About 10 fresh basil leaves
- Grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes over low heat until the garlic is soft and just begins to brown. Squish the garlic a bit while heating to release more of the garlic flavor. Remove the garlic from the pan. I like to leave some of the smaller bits but discard the larger bits of the cloves.
3. Drain the can of tomatoes, reserving the juice for another use (Bloody Mary, anyone?). Increase the heat to medium and add in the tomatoes. Using a wooden spoon, break up the tomatoes in the pan. Lower the heat, cover and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for another 5 minutes. Stack your basil leaves on top of each other. Roll them into a cigar and cut crosswise into very thin ribbons. Add about 2/3 of the basil to the sauce and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
5. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water. Drain your pasta and either put it back into the pot in which it was cooked or into the large skillet with the sauce if it can accommodate. (If you put it back in the pot where it was cooked, add the sauce to the pasta.) Toss the sauce and pasta together. (If too dry, you can add a little of the reserved pasta water.) Add in the remaining basil. Stir to incorporate.
6. Serve immediately with plenty of Parmesan cheese and enjoy!