Sometimes the simplest dishes can be the most delicious. Quick and easy, this supremely satisfying popular meal features fresh, tender spaghetti coated in an aromatic tomato basil sauce. White wine and crushed red pepper add depth and a hit of spice to the sauce, which is finished with flavorful Parmesan cheese. To up the ante on this winning pasta, we’re serving it with morsels of burrata, the creamiest version of mozzarella imaginable. There’s no day this dish can’t fix.
1 pint cherry tomatoes
¼ ounce basil, divided
1 clove garlic
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons white wine
½ cup tomato purée
8 ounces fresh spaghetti
½ ounce grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces burrata
2 tablespoons olive oil
10″ large pot
12″ large pan
Starchy pasta cooking water will give your sauce a perfect consistency and help it cling to the noodles. Keep adding it until the sauce is silky—you may need more than you think.
Burrata is delicate, so be sure to handle it gently. Discard only the watery liquid from the container, not cheese solids.
1. Prepare Ingredients
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Rinse tomatoes and halve. Rinse basil and set aside 1 whole sprig for making sauce; roughly chop or tear remaining leaves, discarding stems. Mince garlic.
2. Sauté Tomatoes
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add crushed red pepper (skip or use half for less heat) and garlic and sauté, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to medium high, add tomatoes, and sauté, breaking up with a spoon, until beginning to soften, 4-5 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired.
3. Simmer Tomato Sauce
Add white wine and cook until slightly reduced, 1-2 minutes. Then, add tomato purée and whole basil sprig. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are very soft, about 4 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.
4. Cook Spaghetti
Season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water, then drain.
5. Season Spaghetti
Remove and discard basil sprig from tomato sauce, return pan to medium heat, and add spaghetti. Cook, stirring, until pasta is coated and warmed through, 1-2 minutes. Add reserved pasta cooking water, 2 tablespoons at a time, until sauce is thick and clings to noodles. Stir in Parmesan. Taste and add more salt and black pepper as needed.
6. Plate Spaghetti
Divide spaghetti and sauce between serving dishes. Remove burrata from container, discarding excess liquid. Tear into bite-size pieces and dot over pasta. Garnish with chopped basil for a pop of color, grab a fork, and twirl away.
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