A quick, easy, healthy, and light sauce that everyone will love.
Tomato and Basil Sauce
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, sliced very thin
- 2 lbs. fresh, ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced (or use 3 cups of canned, whole tomatoes, with their juice, coarsely chopped)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn by hand into small pieces (about 1/2")
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- Put all but 1 TB of olive oil and all the garlic in a large skillet over a medium-high heat and cook until the garlic begins to sizzle, but doesn't brown.
- Add the tomatoes and cook over a medium-high heat until the tomatoes have reduced and separated from the oil. This will be about 15 minutes depending upon your skillet size. Season with salt.
- While the sauce is cooking bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, add 1 tbs of salt, and drop in the pasta all at once, stirring until the pasta is submerged. If you have a smaller pot, you can use less than 4 quarts of water, but you must constantly stir the pasta for one minute.
- When the sauce has reduced, add the torn basil leaves and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
- When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and toss with the sauce in the skillet, adding the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
- Serve at once with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Note: You can serve this sauce with spaghetti, spaghettini (thin spaghetti), or penne.
Bella Italian Food Recommends
Calphalon Commercial Hard-Anodized 9-Inch, 2-Quart Chef's Skillet with Lid
This deep, round-sided skillet is perfect for stir-frying and much easier to store than a wok. Because it exposes lots of surface compared to the diameter of its bottom (it's 6 inches at the bottom, 9 inches across the top), the 2-quart skillet is ideal for quickly reducing sauces. Calphalon's commercial hard-anodized series, it distributes heat efficiently, so foods brown quickly and cook uniformly. The hard-anodized surface won't chip, crack, or peel if you use a metal spatula, and it doesn't react with acidic foods such as citrus or tomato. All of Calphalon's commercial hard-anodized cookware comes with a lifetime warranty.