I think one dish that everyone should have in their repertoire is the good ol' tomato spaghetti! I love that a classic tomato spaghetti is great anytime of the year, and that you can add any seasonal ingredients of your choice. Once you have the basic recipe down, you can play around with a variety of combinations and flavors. Garlic and basil I believe are a must in tomato spaghetti, but I usually like to add a few slices of red or green chile pepper to add a kick to it. I also add whatever else I have on hand like bacon or mushrooms, or another one of my favorite combos is baby spinach and crumbled goat cheese. As the goat cheese melts, it adds a pleasant creaminess to the dish that goes perfectly with the tangy tomato sauce. Feel free to come up with your own mix of ingredients!
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 2 cloves garlic
- small bunch fresh basil
- 1/2 fresh red or green chile pepper (deseeded if you wish)
- olive oil
- 1 x 14-oz can diced tomatoes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- parmesan cheese
- goat cheese (optional)
- handful of baby spinach (optional)
prep time: 5 min
cook time: 15-20 min
adapted from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. While the water is boiling, peel and finely chop the garlic. Finely slice the chile, deseeding it first if you don't want the sauce to be too hot.
3. Pick the basil leaves and set aside. Finely chop the stalks.
4. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add the spaghetti and cook it according to the package directions.
5. Add about a Tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet or pot on medium heat. Add the garlic, chile, and basil stalks. Cook until the garlic is slightly browned.
6. Add the basil leaves and the tomatoes to the skillet, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Once the pasta is done cooking, drain well, and add to the skillet. (If using baby spinach, add them here as well). Stir well to make sure all of the pasta is evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Transfer to a serving plate, and top with parmesan cheese and torn basil leaves. If you wish, crumble some goat cheese on top as well!