ANGEL HAIR PASTA WITH FRESH TOMATO, BASIL, AND GARLIC
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 2 2tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumeextra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1 1tablespoon TABLESPOON_USVolumechopped garlic
- 2 2 2teaspoons TEASPOON_USVolumechopped shallots
- 4 4 4cups CUP_USVolumetomato concasse (made with 2 pounds whole tomatoes)
- 1 1 1tablespoon TABLESPOON_USVolumesugar or honey, optional
- 1 1 1teaspoon TEASPOON_USVolumekosher salt
- 2 2 2teaspoons TEASPOON_USVolumetomato paste
- 1 1 1teaspoon TEASPOON_USVolumechopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 0.25 0.25cup CUP_USVolumeextra-virgin olive oil
- 5 5 5ounces OUNCE_USVolumeDouble-Blanched Garlic, sliced (see separate recipe)
- 2 2 2cups CUP_USVolumetomato concasse (made with 1 pound whole tomatoes)
- 2 2 2cups CUP_USVolumeTomato Base
- 1/4 0.25 0.25cup CUP_USVolumechopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 0.25 0.25teaspoon TEASPOON_USVolumekosher salt
- 12 12 12ounces OUNCE_USVolumefresh or store-bought angel hair pasta
- 1/4 0.25 0.25cup CUP_USVolumechopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
- Sprigs of fresh basil leaves, for garnish
In a 12-inch skillet, over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Sauté the garlic and shallots just until they start to color. Add the 4 cups of tomato concasse, sugar, if necessary, and salt and cook over medium heat until reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste and chopped thyme and set aside.
Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil.
In a clean 12-inch skillet or sauté pan over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Sauté the garlic, stirring often, until it is lightly golden in color, about 2 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the 2 cups of tomato concasse, the reserved 2 cups of Tomato Base, the 1/4 cup chopped basil, and the salt. Return the skillet to the heat and simmer over medium-high heat until some of the moisture from the tomatoes evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes.
- When ready to serve, add pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook until it is al dente, about 1 minute for fresh pasta (cook packaged pasta according to the directions on the box). Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce with the chopped fresh parsley. Gently stir to heat through and coat the pasta with sauce.
PresentationTo serve, divide the pasta and sauce evenly, twirl with kitchen tongs or a fork and place on 4 large, warm plates or bowls. Garnish with basil sprigs and grated Parmesan cheese.
Wine RecommendationI like Chianti. Forget those raffia-covered bottles of the past, Chianti now boasts some of Italy’s greatest wines. But you have to be careful. Look for names like Antinori, Altesino, Villa Cafaggio, Fontodi, Terrabianca, E. Ricasoli-Firidolfi and Castello di Querceto. Or ask your friendly wine shop proprietor for advice if the labels all seem too complicated.
Chef's Tips1. Tomato base can be made in large quantities and frozen up for to 3 months to be used to improve sauces made with tomatoes. This recipe makes about 2 cups. 2. Tomato concasse is nothing more than peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes. To peel, remove the core of the tomato, score the bottom with an X, and carefully slide into a pan of simmering water to cover. When the skin just begins to peel away (which could take as little as 10 seconds, depending upon the ripeness of the tomato), remove the tomato with a slotted spoon and immediately refresh it in iced water. Peel away the outer skin, cut the tomato in half across the middle, and squeeze each half to remove the seeds. Then, coarsely chop the tomato with a heavy knife.
The simplest of all pasta and sauce dishes, this one has a special richness which results from the tomato base. When tomatoes are out of season and not as sweet as they should be, a pinch of sugar or a little honey will increase the flavor. Olives, capers, dried tomatoes, and chili peppers can also be added if desired.