Seriously Simple Tomato Basil Pasta

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In a rush? Try out this recipe for a quick and easy pasta with tomato basil!

I’ve always had a thing for simple foods. I’m talking about basic ingredients with clean, bold flavors which could stand on their own, but work even more deliciously when used to enhance each other.

Sure, I appreciate the complexity of a slow-roasted chicken, the nuances of rare spices, and the special treat that is plank-grilled salmon with dungeness crab salad, but there’s a special place in my heart for dishes like this quick and simple tomato basil pasta.

As our wonderful little twins hit the four month mark, the need for this sort of quick and simple dish has become especially apparent. Given that our generous store of my pre-made freezer meals and dishes lovingly provided by friends and family has all but run dry, we’ve come to rely on meals like this to get us through the week without lapsing into the murky, fat-drenched waters of processed frozen crap and takeout.

This five-ingredient, two-pot vegetarian meal is a satisfying way to satiate your pasta craving. For a healthier option, replace the pasta with zoodles. For a heartier option, consider tossing in some grilled chicken breast (like this one in this sandwich), chunks of Italian sausage, or – of course – a couple of bird balls!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (dry) pasta of choice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic – crushed
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil – diced
  • salt and pepper

For serving:

  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Start it up by cooking the pasta al dente according to the directions on the package.

When there’s about 2 minutes left for the pasta, start 1 tablespoon of olive oil heating in a large pan over medium heat.

When the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/4 cup of the water, drain the rest, and then rinse it all with cold water so the noodles don’t overcook.

Add the crushed garlic to the heated olive oil and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is lightly golden and effervescent: about 30-40 seconds.

Add the tomatoes to the pan (gently, so the oil doesn’t splatter) and stir it all around to incorporate the toasted garlic.

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Continue to cook the tomatoes – stirring every 30 seconds or so – to reduce the liquid and bring out the flavor, which should take about 6-7 minutes.

Add the basil and the drained pasta to the tomato mixture, and fold it all together.

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Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the mix dries out (the liquid has reduced too much), use the reserved pasta water to moisten it up.

Serve it up with a dusting of fresh Parm, and a drizzle of olive oil.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. chef mimi says:

    Actually you’ve just summed up the beauty of Italian cuisine – its simplicity. Great pasta.

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