Spaghetti with Rustic Fresh Tomato, Basil and Melted Parmesan Sauce a perfect pasta dish. This is a classic pasta that deserves careful attention. For it to shine, the freshest ingredients must be used along with following my easy set of rules. I have discovered, and am a believer, to make “perfect” pasta you need to follow a set of guidelines.Rule 1. High quality imported Italian dry pasta is fundamental. Depending on your budget, here are some of my favorites; De Cecco, Benedetto Cavalieri, Rummo, Garofalo, Martelli, La Molisana, most are now available at many supermarkets or specialty food stores worldwide.
Rule 2. Sea Salt, essential for the pasta water and everything else! Many of you who are regular followers of whatsmickeycooking.com, can attest that I LOVE sea salt in all it’s forms…from gross grain to shaved finishing. Living in Venice, I procure a sea salt farmed next door to Italy off of the Croatian coast. I love this salt so when I am in Croatia I buy it in bulk, Piranske Soline.
Rule 3. Imported Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, it is quite expensive, but so worth every penny. The salty briny flavor is impossible to copy. All of these rules apply to any of my pasta recipes using dried pasta and one’s using parmesan cheese.
Rule 4. Finishing off the final minute of cooking the pasta in it’s sauce over heat in a wok style skillet. This technique takes some time to gain comfort with….but, it works, trust me. It makes a significant difference in the finished product. Adding the pasta water as needed for melding the sauce together with it’s pasta.
Now that you have the rules, you just find some beautiful cherry or baby plum tomatoes and fresh basil and your ready to make Spaghetti with Rustic Fresh Tomato, Basil and Melted Parmesan Sauce. Let’s Cook!
Spaghetti with Rustic Fresh Tomato, Basil and Melted Parmesan Sauce
A classic pasta dish, using the freshest tomatoes and basil along with imported Parmesan cheese.
- 1 lb Imported high quality spaghetti
- 4-5 cloves Garlic, smashed, thinly sliced or crushed
- 4 cups Cherry tomatoes or baby plum tomatoes quartered
- 1 cup Imported Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, grated
- 3 tbls Extra virgin olive oil
- Hot pepper flakes or tiny piece of fresh hot pepper (optional and to taste)
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- handful Fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped
Fill a pasta pot with water and bring to a rolling boil, add a generous amount of sea salt, you want the water have the taste of the sea!
Chose a wok style skillet, or one that will be large enough for you to finish the pasta. Add the olive oil, garlic and hot pepper. On a medium heat, lightly brown the garlic.
Carefully add the chopped tomatoes, torn, chopped basil leaves some sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Stir
Continue to cook on a medium heat until the tomatoes start to break down but do not entirely lose their shape about 10 minutes. Remove from heat
When the pasta water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and stir. Time for 1 minute less than the package indicates for al dente pasta. Return the Sauce to a medium high heat
When the pasta is ready, either with a pasta fork, or if you drain into a colander, make sure you keep some of the cooking water (very important). If you are forking the pasta into the sauce, drain the spaghetti as you lift it from the water and place it directly into the skillet with the sauce. You will have the pasta water from the pot to use if you need more liquid.
As you add the spaghetti, stir it into the sauce, if the sauce seems dry add the cooking water. Add the cheese, continue to combine. You might need 2 utensils to lift, stir and mix the spaghetti. The mixture should be creamy and coat the noodles. Use the water and the heat as you stir the spaghetti for its final minute or two of cooking.
Plate and serve immediately