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The ripest tomatoes will yield best pomodoro. (Matthew Mead~AP)

The ripest tomatoes will yield the best pomodoro. (Matthew Mead~AP)

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Updated: November 4, 2011 5:36PM



1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Pinch red pepper flakes

16 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces, divided

2 pints very ripe grape tomatoes (about 80 grape tomatoes)

8 ounces dry kamut spaghetti (or brown rice or whole wheat pasta)

Ground black pepper

1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated,

In large pot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt.

In large nonstick skillet over medium-low, heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Add garlic slices and toast, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Watch closely so garlic doesn’t burn. Increase heat to medium, add red pepper flakes and half of basil leaves. Cook for 30 seconds, then add grape tomatoes.

Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente according to package directions, usually about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, toss grape tomatoes in pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they start to blister and skins pop. Mash tomatoes gently with potato masher or fork to make a pulp, then turn off heat. Season lightly with salt and black pepper.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of cooking water. Add drained pasta and reserved pasta water to tomato mixture. Increase heat to medium-high. Add half of cheese. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until sauce begins to cling to noodles, using a heat-resistant rubber spatula to toss pasta to coat evenly.

Add remaining basil and olive oil and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide pasta among 4 plates and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Rocco DiSpirito

Nutrition facts per serving: 281 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 6 mg cholesterol, 46 g carbohydrates, 8 g protein, 260 mg sodium, 6 g fiber

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