Everyone has their version of spaghetti with fresh tomatoes. This one gets a little extra kick from being sauteed for a short period and from the zest and juice of a whole small lemon (half if it’s a big one).
1 lb spagetti (or any pasta)
2 baskets cherry or other tomatoes or 2 big ripe tomatoes chopped (I did one and one in this case, because it’s what I had on hand)
4 cloves garlic
1 small lemon (or 1/2 of a big one)
olive oil, salt, pepper, parmesan, red pepper flakes optional
4 basil leaves chopped, torn or chiffonaded
First boil water for pasta, add two heaping tablespoons of salt. I know this sounds extreme, but its what the Italians do and with such a simple sauce, you need the noodles to have flavor. Once your water has come to a boil Smash four cloves of garlic, saute in a big glug of olive oil until transparent but before they start to get golden, about 4 minutes on low heat. Add tomatoes, lemon zest (1/2 ts) and juice saute for about 4 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit in the pan.
Drain pasta, reserving half a cup of starchy pasta water. Toss pasta with sauce and water. Add salt (a few pinches, it’ll need it), a few turns of pepper, another drizzle of olive oil (it should be juicy not dry), parmesan cheese, and chopped parsley. Delicious.
Serve with a salad for as simple meal or as a first course with fish.