|These are the tomatoes we use|
This is the best tomato and basil pasta ever. It is based on the dish served at Scarpetta, the Italian restaurant at the Fotainbleau hotel in Miami Beach. Everyone raves about their pasta and it is really good. I think ours is even better.
Scarpetta Tomato and Basil Pasta
- 1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 lb can of San Marzano tomatoes drained and rinsed in a colander (we got ours at Costco)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons red-pepper flakes
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 24 basil leaves, cut into a fine chiffonade
- 1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Add the olive oil to a pan and heat until it begins to smoke lightly. Add the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and the red-pepper flakes.
This step can get messy, especially when the tomatoes hit the oil, so use a lid to shield yourself and the stove top. Remove the lid once the tomatoes have settled into the heat.
Crush the tomatoes with a potato masher, or a wire whisk, to release all their liquid. Cook for 25 minutes over medium to medium-high heat, until the tomatoes form a semi-chunky sauce.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the spaghetti. When the pasta has cooked for three-quarters of the time stated on the package, drain it and reserve the water. Add the spaghetti to the sauce and cook over medium-high heat until all the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little of the pasta water to thin out the sauce.
Remove from the heat and add the butter, basil, and cheese, mixing thoroughly until the pasta is an orange hue. Season to taste with salt.