A reminder of Spring
I’ve been complaining about winter lately. A LOT. We’re in the deep freeze here in Badgerland, USA, with no end in sight and a bunch more snow in the forecast. The colors and freshness of Easy Garlic-Tomato-Basil Pasta are uplifting to me at times like this, and remind me that spring is not so very far away.
About the tomatoes
Easy Garlic-Tomato-Basil Pasta came about because I actually found a couple of fabulous-looking tomatoes at the grocery in the dead of winter. This rarely ever happens. Mid-winter grocery tomatoes are usually sad, mealy things. So, when I saw these uncharacteristically beautiful specimens, I snapped them right up.
But I get it: you may not be so fortunate. In that case, it’s perfectly acceptable to use good-quality canned, petite-diced tomatoes.
Easy Garlic-Tomato Basil Pasta: a light, healthy meal in less than 25 minutes
Easy Garlic-Tomato-Basil Pasta has a very low-maintenance sauce of olive oil, black pepper and garlic that’s done in the time that it takes to boil the pasta. (25 minutes is a generous estimate for the time this dish takes to prepare.) Then, the pasta is added to the skillet to finish cooking in the sauce with Romano cheese, the tomatoes, and some reserved pasta water, which binds the sauce together and makes it creamy—without the calories and fat of actually adding cream.
If you’ve got mad chef skills, you can literally toss the pasta in the skillet to combine all of the components. I do not have mad chef skills, so I use a pair of tongs to toss the pasta in the sauce. After 2 minutes of cooking in the lidded skillet (with a toss or two along the way), I serve the pasta with more Romano cheese and freshly ground black pepper, and a sprinkling of basil chiffonade.
It’s really that easy! Easy Garlic-Tomato-Basil pasta is a healthy, vibrant reminder that Spring is just around the corner. I hope you enjoy it!
I’m sharing this recipe with:
- #CookBlogShare, a great food blogger recipe-share at Easy Peasy Foodie.
- #RecipeOfTheWeek hosted by A Mummy Too.
- #BrillBlogPosts, a link party with a variety of lifestyle reads hosted by Honest Mum.
Easy Garlic-Tomato-Basil Pasta is done in under 25 minutes. The pasta finishes cooking right in the light sauce, which is made creamy with the addition of pasta water and Romano cheese.
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced (or see recipe note #1)
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced (or see recipe note #2)
- 1 lb. dry spaghetti or linguini
- 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving grated
- 2 tbsp basil, chiffonaded
- 1 cup pasta water (reserved from boiling the pasta)
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook 2 minutes less than package directions for al dente.
Meanwhile, add the olive oil, garlic, and black pepper to a large skillet over low heat. Sauté gently until garlic is fragrant and lightly golden in color, but not brown. If necessary, turn off the heat until the pasta is done.
Remove 1 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the tomatoes, Romano cheese, and reserved pasta water. Toss well to combine. Lid the skillet and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat, tossing occasionally.
Serve topped with basil and a sprinkling more of Romano cheese and black pepper.
- If you are not a big garlic fan, cut the amount used by half. Keep in mind that the garlic slowly heats in the olive oil, so the flavor is comparatively mild.
- If you can't find good ripe tomatoes (I always look for tomatoes that are heavy for their size and that SMELL like a tasty tomato), use a 14-oz can of good-quality petite-diced tomatoes, drained well.
NOTE ON THE CHEESE: this pasta dish could easily be made vegetarian or vegan by substituting a vegetarian/vegan-friendly cheese for the Pecorino Romano.
Related tools on Sur La Table (affiliate)
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