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BellaOnline's American Regional Cuisine Editor

Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce with Pasta Recipe

This recipe is my version of an old and beloved Italian dish, Pasta Margherita. If you have ever ordered or made a Margherita Pizza, then you will know that fresh mozzarella cheese joins the party. This pasta dish omits the cheese and uses only farm fresh ingredients, except for the parmesan cheese to garnish with if you wish.

margheritaings When fresh tomatoes are in season it is great to find recipes that highlight their flavor and texture - and this recipe does just that. Choose ripe tomatoes for this recipe, as they will make a sweeter and juicer sauce. I used the ripest Roma tomatoes for this recipe – however, you can substitute any other ripe, seasonal tomatoes that you can find in your area.

There is nothing quicker, easier and more flavorful than making fresh tomato sauce. Add fresh basil, onion and garlic and you have heaven on a plate! This recipe is also vegetarian-friendly.


1 lb. spaghetti
4 quarts water
Olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 large yellow onion, diced
8 - 10 Roma tomatoes
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 packed cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped
Fresh bread (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add a handful of salt. Let the water come back to the boil and carefully add the spaghetti, stirring a couple of times during the first 3 minutes so that the pasta does not stick to itself. Cook until al dente (firm to the bite,) drain and spray with cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside.

2. Core and dice the tomatoes - set aside. In a large skillet or pot big enough to hold the pasta and sauce, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, cooking for approximately 5 - 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the tomatoes and red pepper, season with the salt and pepper and mix. Cook the tomatoes until they begin to release their juices and make a nice sauce - approximately 10 minutes. Add the basil and cook for 5 more minutes before tossing in the pasta and cooking for 2 minutes to warm through. Invert the pasta into a large bowl and serve with warm, fresh bread and parmesan cheese at the table.

Serves 4

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