Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil

By

SCOTT'S SPAGHETTI WITH FRESH TOMATO SAUCE AND BASIL

Spaghetti with French Tomato Sauce“This is a straightforward, traditional, fresh tomato sauce in which ripe tomatoes – and little else – get cooked quickly to retain their vibrant flavor. Why then is it such a hit? The key is in the finish. Here’s how I put the dish together at the restaurant: I take a single portion of pasta cooked just shy of al dente and add it to a sauté pan that holds a single portion of hot, bubbling tomato sauce. To toss the pasta and sauce together I use that pan-jerking method we chefs are so fond of. I do this to look cool. Just kidding. The real reason is that this technique not only coats the pasta evenly with the sauce but it also introduces a little air into the process, making the dish feel lighter and brighter. To accomplish this aeration with larger portions and without fancy wrist work, cook the sauce in a pan with a lot of surface area. When you add the pasta to the sauce, gently toss the pasta with a couple of wooden spoons (tongs can bruise and break the strands), lifting the pasta high above the bottom of the pot. Finish the dish with some butter, some cheese, and some basil.”

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

20 ripe plum tomatoes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to finish the dish
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti, either good-quality dried or homemade
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, well washed and dried, stacked and rolled into a cylinder and cut thinly crosswise into a chiffonade
1 ounce freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (½ cup)

TO PEEL THE TOMATOES:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a large bowl of ice water nearby. Cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato. Ease about five tomatoes in the pot and cook, let boil for about 15 seconds, and then promptly move them to the waiting ice water. (Do this with the remaining tomatoes.) Pull off the skin with the tip of a paring knife. If you skin sticks, try a vegetable peeler using a gentle sawing motion.

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Stories we love
FROM AROUND THE WEB
  • Bring on the love: 64% of men and 63% of women worldwide want more romance.