Spaghetti With Tomato and BasilJun 15th, 2009 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Herbs, Italian, Olive Oil, Pasta, Recipes, Sauce, Vegetables, Vegetarian
Of all the Italian dishes that one could (and can love), for me there is a no equal to the quick, delicious and simple Spaghetti with tomato sauce and basil.
Living in Canada, we are blessed to be living in a harmonious and multicultural country that is Canada. Here in Toronto, we boast of having approx. half a million people of Italian descent. One such family are our neighbors. The lady of the house is Sicilian and the man being Pugliese, from Bari.
My earliest recollections of having this dish are from having a lunch at an Italian friend’s home and on the many occasions that I would be served a bowl of pasta at our neighbors.
Like any of the best pasta recipes, this one relies on quality ingredients, straight-forward recipe and a sauce that’s prepped and ready to be tossed in the time it take for your spaghetti to be cooked.
This recipe requires some good tomato sauce, be it your family’s homemade batch or a good can of plum tomatoes available at your grocer. More and more and year by year this product has improved. Gone are the days of tasting tin or an acidic can of tomatoes.
These days many producers are lining the cans – buh-bye canned/tin taste. You need a good quality olive oil but nothing too fruity or acidic as those types of olive oils can overpower a tomato sauce. Save those olive oils for your salads.
Choose your cheese. You have either a tangy Parmesan or a saltier Romano cheese. My preference is Romano cheese. It’s all about personal tastes. As for the sauce, sometimes I’m in the mood for a smooth sauce and I’ll blitz the plum tomatoes with my hand blender. Lately, I’ve been in a chunky mood…hand crushed plum tomatoes are my fancy of late (and tomato-stained shirts).
The most important facet of a Spaghetti with tomato and basil is the basil. Fresh basil. Don’t you dare use that dried stuff labeled as basil at the supermarket. You need fresh leaves of Genovese Basilico. Hand-tear it or chiffonade it and drop in the sauce just when your tossing the spaghetti.
Every time I make this sauce, I taste Italy (visited once), my kitchen (for that brief cooking time) gives away to smell like an Italian kitchen and when the pasta is served before me, I taste that pasta when I was a child. I’m sitting at my Italian neighbors’ table. I’m 12 years old again.
Spaghetti With Tomato and Basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 package of dry spaghetti
1 can (28 oz.) plum tomatoes, hand crushed
8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup of fresh basil leaves, hand-torn or cut in a chiffonade
some pasta water
Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
extra-virgin olive oil
- Get a large pot of water to boil. Add a good amount of salt and add your pasta to boil. Cook according to package instructions (usually 6-7 minutes).
- In a large skillet, add your olive oil over medium-high heat and add the chopped garlic. As soon as you can start to smell the garlic wafting from the olive oil, add your hand-crushed plum tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally and season with some salt and pepper. Reduce the sauce until the most of the water has evaporated and you’ve reached a thick and slightly chunky tomato sauce.
- Add some grated cheese and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and set aside.
- When your pasta has cooked, reserve some pasta water and drain your spaghetti and then add to the sauce along with your basil. Toss to incorporate everything and if the sauce seems to dry, add some of the reserved pasta water and continue to toss.
- Add some more grated cheese, toss again. Divide the pasta into individual servings or serve “family style” on a platter. Drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil, some fresh black pepper and and some grated cheese on top.
If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.
Â© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis
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© 2009, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.