Spaghetti with a fresh baby plum tomatoes and basil sauce

by Lydia Gerratt

Ingredients

450g Santini baby plum tomatoes cut in half
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
20g fresh basil, chopped
350g spaghetti (Giuseppe Cocco is the best)
3-4 tablespoons of pasta water
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano to serve

Directions

Place a large pan that can hold a good 3 litres of water onto a high heat. When the water starts to boil add a teaspoon of salt and all the spaghetti.

Put a dry medium size frying pan on a low heat to warm up as you get the ingredients ready. Add all the extra virgin olive oil to the warm pan and fry the chopped garlic for about 20 seconds. Do not let it brown and release any bitterness. Add the halved baby plum tomatoes and stir. Increase the heat to high to start breaking down the tomatoes and release their juices. Stir and press down on the tomatoes with a wooden spatula to hurry up the cooking.

The tomato sauce is ready when all the tomatoes have broken down and released a lot of tomato juice to create a sauce, about 7 minutes. Turn the heat off; add all the chopped basil and stir.

When the spaghetti is cooked al dente (soft on the outside but slightly hard in the middle), lift the spaghetti out of its water with a pasta spoon and put it into the pan with the sauce. Add 3-4 tablespoons of pasta water to help create a sauce (the starch in the pasta water thickens the sauce). Serve immediately with lots of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

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