Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato & Basil Sauce

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  • 3 pounds fresh plum tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and quartered
  • 3 ounces olive oil
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-pound dry spaghetti
  • 2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Blanch the tomatoes and remove the skin. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut the tomatoes crosswise. Set aside in a bowl.
  2. Heat 3 ounces olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until it smokes slightly. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
  3. Chop the tomatoes with a potato masher until they are in fine chunks and all their liquid is released. Be sure they are chopped and crushed. Simmer for 25 minutes over medium heat.
  4. While the sauce simmers, heat the water for the pasta. Cook the spaghetti in salted water about half of the way cooked. Drain, reserving some of the water.
  5. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add the pasta to the sauce and cook over medium-high heat until all the liquid is absorbed, and the pasta is al dente. If the sauce is over-reduced, use the pasta cooking liquid to adjust it.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat; add the extra-virgin olive oil, butter, basil, and cheese. Mix thoroughly until the pasta is an orangish color.


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