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Eat and Drink

Spaghetti recipe: Scarpetta's tomato basil spaghetti

Seduce your beloved carbovore with Scarpetta's tomato and basil spaghetti this Valentine's Day.

Stay in -- where no one will judge you for eating a few strands Lady and the Tramp style -- and cook up this recipe for two.

If you're not already in love, you will be. With this pasta dish.

Ingredients:

6 oz. spaghetti, fresh or dried

12 oz. tomato sauce (recipe below)

8 large basil leaves, chiffonade

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

4 tbsp. Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

2 tbsp. extra virgin Tuscan olive oil

Pinch red pepper flakes

Salt (to taste)

Tomato sauce, yield: 1 quart

Ingredients:

16 plum tomatoes, ripe

16 oz. San Marzano tomatoes

2 tbsp. extra virgin Tuscan olive oil

1/2 Tbsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 cup extra virgin Tuscan olive oil

12 garlic cloves, whole and peeled

4 basil stems, leaves on

Salt (to taste)

Remove the core of the tomatoes with a paring knife

Score the bottoms with an
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Score the bottoms with an "X."

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and have a large ice bath nearby

There should be enough room for the tomatoes
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

There should be enough room for the tomatoes in the cold bath.

Place tomatoes into boiling water for 15 seconds

Remove and immediately place in ice bath.
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Remove and immediately place in ice bath.

Once cooled, peel skin off tomatoes with a paring knife

The skin should peel off easily, in one
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

The skin should peel off easily, in one piece.

Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise

Remove seeds from tomatoes with fingers and strain
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Remove seeds from tomatoes with fingers and strain seeds to harvest the juices.

Place 4 tbsp. of olive oil in a new pot and place over medium to high heat

When the oil is hot, add the tomato
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

When the oil is hot, add the tomato flesh that the seeds have been removed from and the San Marzano tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt. Cook tomatoes for 5 minutes until they start to soften. Mash tomatoes with a potato masher and continue this over low to medium heat for half an hour, mashing occasionally.

In a separate pot, place 1 cup olive oil, garlic cloves and red pepper flakes over medium heat

Allow to brown lightly for about 30 minutes.
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Allow to brown lightly for about 30 minutes.

Once the garlic is lightly browned remove from heat and let basil infuse for 10 minutes

Consider this flavorful oil your secret ingredient to
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Consider this flavorful oil your secret ingredient to incredible pasta sauce.

Strain the oil directly into the cooked and mashed tomatoes

Having an extra set of hands around will
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Having an extra set of hands around will make this easier.

Mix tomatoes and oil together well until oil is completely incorporated

Salt to taste.
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Salt to taste.

It's spaghetti time!

Place a large pot of water on stove
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Place a large pot of water on stove and bring to a boil. Season with salt. Cook pasta in water until it is al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, add tomato sauce to a separate pan and cook slowly

Let the sauce reduce a little.
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Let the sauce reduce a little.

Add the pasta to the pan with the sauce and with a couple tablespoons of the pasta water

Finish cooking the pasta in the sauce over
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Finish cooking the pasta in the sauce over medium to high heat and the sauce should coat the noodles throughout.

Remove from heat and toss in basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, butter and olive oil

All the ingredients should be even throughout and
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

All the ingredients should be even throughout and creamy, not broken.

Finish with a pinch of red pepper flakes and season with salt to taste

For some professional-looking plating, twist spaghetti into a
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

For some professional-looking plating, twist spaghetti into a ring mold or just a big round cookie cutter and lift. Gorgeous!

Buon appetito!

It's OK to break up with your dinner
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

It's OK to break up with your dinner date and keep both servings of pasta for yourself. Really.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Scarpetta's executive chef Jon Oh says this is
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Scarpetta's executive chef Jon Oh says this is much more than is usually left on his restaurant's plates. Lick it up!

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