whole wheat spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce & garlic basil oil

oh my gosh, this was soooooo yummy!

usually i'm not a huge fan of spaghetti because i really don't like spaghetti sauce.  especially the meaty kind so my poor family has suffered through jar after jar of ragu.  i thought it was supposed to be like a marinara (ragu) but it's not.  not at all.

this however, this is the perfect tomato sauce.  the infused olive oil adds the perfect kick and the fresh tomatoes were just so nice and so fresh.  

i served it with italian seasoned grilled chicken and garlic bread but i would have been perfectly satisfied with just the spaghetti and a small side salad.

please try this recipe.  i beg you.

whole wheat spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce & garlic basil infused oil
adapted from the steamy kitchen

4 ripe tomatoes
12 oz can whole tomatoes
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
1 oz parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)
8 fresh basil leaves, well washed & dried, stacked & rolled into a cylinder & sliced thinly into a chiffonade*
1 lbs whole wheat spaghetti

garlic & basil infused olive oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 whole cloves of garlic
10 whole fresh basil leaves
generous pinch of red pepper flakes

first make the the garlic-basil oil by heating a small saucepan over low heat with 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic cloves, basil leaves & pepper flakes.  keep the heat on low to allow the ingredients to warm slowly & release their flavors.  when the garlic is lightly browned (this was about 25 minutes for me), turn the heat off & let cool for 10 minutes.  the longer you let the oil sit, the more infused the oil.  strain the oil, discarding the solids.  (then take a wiff .... yum!).

(horrible photo, i know ... sorry)

next, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  have a large bowl of ice water nearby.  cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato.

next, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  have a large bowl of ice water nearby.  cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato.

ease the tomatoes into the pot & boil for about 15 seconds then promptly move them to the waiting ice water.

pull off the skin with the tip of a paring knife.  quarter the tomatoes & use your finger to flick out the seeds. 

after the tomatoes are peeled, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat until quite hot.  add the fresh & canned tomatoes, red pepper flakes & season lightly with salt & pepper.  let the tomatoes cook for a few minutes to soften.  then, using a potato masher (or, if you're like me who does not own a potato masher, use the back of a wooden spoon), chop the tomatoes finely.  cook the tomatoes for 20 to 25 minutes until the tomatoes are tender & the sauce is thickened.

to cook the spaghetti, bring a large pot of water to a boil & cook the spaghetti until just shy of al dente & drain, reserving a little of the pasta cooking water (i forgot to do this and could have used a little water when all was said & done).

add the cooked pasta to the sauce & cook over medium high heat, gently tossing the pasta & the sauce together with a couple  of wooden spoons & a lot of exaggerated movement until the pasta is just tender & the sauce, if any oil had separated from it, now looks cohesive.  (if the sauce becomes too thick, add a little pasta cooking liquid to adjust it).  Remove the pan from the heat & toss the butter, basil & cheese with the pasta in the same manner.  drizzle with just a bit of the garlic & basil infused olive oil on each plate (you might not use it all.  if there's some leftover, store it in the fridge).

*the first time i was instructed to slice fresh basil into a chiffonade i had no idea what that meant.  it goes like this ...

stack the basil leaves on top of one another

roll into a cylinder

and slice ...


serves at least 6 (the kids ate theirs gone, husband had seconds and there was still a lot leftover).  nutritional info for garlic basil oil is for 1 tsp per serving.  makes 12 tsp.

Nutrition Facts
spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat12.6g
      Saturated Fat4.2g
      Trans Fat0g
      Dietary Fiber7.8g
Vitamin A 17%Vitamin C 42%
Calcium    12%Iron 17%

Nutrition Facts
garlic and basil infused olive oil
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat4.7g
      Saturated Fat0.7g
      Trans Fat0g
      Dietary Fiber0.1g
Vitamin A 2%Vitamin C 1%
Calcium    0%Iron 0%

1 comment:

Scottkids said...


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