Some of the most simplistic dinners are the best. A little goes a long way when you use few, quality ingredients. In Italian cooking, this allows for the integrity of each ingredient to sing. This dish is the perfect unexpectedly simple date night dinner to go with a bottle of Super Tuscan or Chianti Classico.
- 28 oz. can of D.O.P San Marzano tomatoes
- Good quality EVOO
- Fresh basil
- Good quality Bucatini or Spaghetti (Gentile brand is by far my favorite, makes all the difference. You can find it at your local Italian market, and sometimes Fresh Market)
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 5 cloves of garlic, large rough chopped
- red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
In a sauce pan, sauté the garlic in olive oil over medium heat until it begins to open up the fragrance, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the red pepper flakes, depending how spicy you like it.
Add in the san marzano tomatoes, crushing them with a wooden spoon. Bring it to a simmer and add five big pieces of fresh basil. Before you add the basil, a little secret is to give it a slap between your hands so it opens up the oils and really soaks that flavor into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper
Simmer the sauce until it reduces and thickens on medium/low, for about 15-20 minutes. Add in the parmigiano and taste to see if you need a little more salt or if it’s just right. Add in some more fresh basil (don’t skip the slap) and stir. By now it should be pretty thick. Turn your sauce to low.
In a separate pot, boil water and salt it liberally. It should be as salty as the sea in Italy. Add in your bucatini and cook until its super al dente, about 3 minutes less than what it says. Add a little bit of pasta water to your sauce and stir to loosen a little. Add in your cooked pasta and allow the sauce and pasta to simmer together for about 2 minutes, absorbing all that flavor into the noodle.
Plate in a nice white dish and garnish with fresh basil, a drizzle of good olive oil, and a little parmigiano.