Tomato basil pasta
Now that the Lenten season is here, many of us will be refraining from eating meat on Fridays, in observance of the abstinence required by the Catholic Church. It’s supposed to be part of the penance and sacrifice asked of Catholics during this holy season before Easter Sunday.
Here’s a recipe for pasta that omits meat entirely. The sauce consists mainly of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil leaves. To make the pasta more flavorful, it should be cooked in the last stages within the sauce, so the noodles absorb all the flavors of the sauce.
Hence, it’s cooked only partially in water (about four minutes), then transferred immediately to the simmering sauce until it’s fully cooked to al dente stage.
It’s also important to serve this piping hot, as soon it’s cooked. Reheating it somehow diminishes the flavor.
To complete the meal, serve garlic bread on the side.
Tomato basil pasta
8-10 cups water
2 tablespoons salt
250 grams pasta (½ of a
½ c extra virgin olive oil
1 whole head garlic, chopped
1 can (14.5 ounces or 411 g) diced Italian tomatoes
¼ c pasta water (from the boiled pasta)
¼ c strips of basil leaves
In a large stockpot, bring water and salt to a boil. Add the pasta and let boil for about four minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan or skillet then immediately add the garlic. Sauté garlic over very low heat. Add the canned diced tomatoes. Stir over low heat.
After the pasta has been boiling for four minutes, transfer it to the pan of olive oil and tomato mixture. Pour in the ¼-cup pasta water. Let simmer until pasta is cooked al dente, about three to four minutes more. Add the basil leaves just before turning off the heat.
Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately while still hot. If desired, serve with garlic bread. Makes three to four servings.
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