About the Recipe
This is one of the most simple pleasures in pasta sauces for adults and kids alike. Typically with the fresh tomatoes of summer and yet it can be made anytime of the year with good canned or jarred tomatoes. Etto Figaro cat shaped pasta makes it extra fun for the kids. The sauce is worthy of serving to guests at a dinner party as well on any shape.
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup basil leaves, torn
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbl tomato paste (optional)
1 lb fresh San Marzano or other fleshy tomato fresh, roughly chopped or 1 28oz can good quality whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, coarsely crushed by hand
1 lb Etto Fido pasta
Parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, for serving
Bring 4 quarts water to a boil salted with 1tbsp kosher salt.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to the pan and cook until slightly brown,1-2 minutes, then discard garlic leaving the garlic infused oil in the pan. Add 1/2 the basil and pepper flakes to pan, along with tomato paste if desired. Add tomatoes and simmer over medium heat until they break down and reduce to at least
half the size.
Drop pasta in the boiling water and cook until al dente. Set aside about 1 cup of starchy pasta water, then drain pasta and add directly to the sauce. Add the remaining basil leaves and stir well, adding pasta water until a creamy consistency is reached.
Serve topped with parmesan or pecorino romano and eat as is or alongside baked eggplant with smoked mozzarella, chicken parmesan or even with a meatball or two.