Pasta allo Scarpariello

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The traditional pasta dish. (serves 6 as a first course)

Spaghetti (or penne or rigatoni) – I lb.
Fresh cherry tomatoes – 2 lbs. — slice off the root ends and halve. (You can substitute larger tomatoes, peeled and cut up into filetti di pomodoro)
2-3 cloves of garlic – sliced thin
hot pepper flakes (optional)
olive oil – 6 tbsps
a nice handful of grated cheese (a mixture of parmigiano and pecorino)
6-8 basil leaves – sliced into thin strips

Put on a large pot of water to boil. When it’s reached a rolling boil, salt generously and add the pasta. Stir. In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the sliced garlic. When it begins to turn golden, add hot pepper to taste and all the tomatoes. Add salt.

Turn up the flame and blister the tomatoes until they just begin to fall apart and lose their shape. Then turn the flame low. When the pasta is perfectly al dente, drain it and add to the sauce. Gently toss with spoons or forks, slowly incorporating the pasta into the sauce. Add the basil and toss again.

Serve with the grated cheese.


- Recipe courtesy of Michael Tucker


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