March 5, 2010

Tomato, garlic, and basil spaghetti

This spaghetti is really simple, yet flavor-packed. This is a great week night dinner and a great vegetarian meal. I found some fresh spaghetti at the grocery store that I used this time, but I usually just use boxed spaghetti. You will have some very garlicky breath after eating this pasta! That's OK with us though, because we love garlic. You can use less or more garlic... we like lots!

I like to serve it with some crusty bread. I often slice the loaf in half lengthwise and then make a mixture of baby spinach, garlic, olive oil, and fresh Parmesan cheese pulsed until smooth in the food processor. Then I spread spread it all over the bread and warm it up in the oven. The below recipe serves 2-3 people.

Tomato, garlic, and basil spaghetti
about 6-7 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 box of spaghetti, cooked until al dente (reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water when draining)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
about 1 cup fresh basil leaves (larger ones torn)
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
fresh grated Parmesan cheese

In a deep skillet, warm the olive oil over very low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Stir well. Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan and the reserved pasta water. Toss until combined. Toss in the basil. Serve immediately and top with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese and more red pepper, if desired.

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