CLASSIC pasta spaghetti with fresh tomato, pine nuts and basil








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Here is a variation of the classic fresh tomato, basil and garlic recipe, which uses toasted pine nuts for a special flavor treat. This is an ideal quick, pure, sparkling summer pasta. Excellent fresh plum tomatoes, or their equivalents, and fresh basil makes this work.

for the sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • one pound fresh plum tomatoes, roughly diced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces
  • one-half cup pine nuts
  • one-half cup or so fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • one-half cup grated fresh pecorino
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

for the pasta:

  • one pound of spaghetti

Put the oil in a medium-sized sauté pan, over medium heat. Add the pine nuts, and sautee until lightly brown, about three minutes. Remove the pine nuts and set aside.

Add the garlic. When it starts to sizzle, add the chopped tomatoes, plus salt and pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring lightly with a wooden spoon. The tomatoes should retain their basic shape. Stir in the basil and the pine nuts. Check for salt. Set aside.

We also recommend putting your serving plates in the oven to warm them.

Meanwhile, bring 4-5 quarts of cold water to a raging boil. Add two tablespoons of salt. Drop in the pasta and stir. Cook until al dente. Drain, saving a tablespoon of the water.

Add the pasta to the reheated sauce, add the tablespoon of reserved liquid, and toss well. Add grated pecorino and toss again. We then cover the pan and cook for about one minute over a high heat: this gets the dish really hot and steaming.

Serve immediately on the warmed plates. Add a couple of fresh basil leaves for color.




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