The name of this recipe doesn’t bring much imagery to mind but there is something key that makes this more delicious than you can imagine. It has homemade Basil Garlic Oil. A few years ago after experiencing Chef Scott Conant’s fabulous restaurant, Scarpetta, I fell in love with his simply made Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce. My husband bought me Chef Conant’s Scarpetta recipe book and I found the secret. He infuses olive oil with garlic, basil and red pepper flakes which is then added to his fresh tomato sauce. Since then, I make and keep infused oil handy at all times and use it in all of my tomato based pasta dishes.
To make enough Basil Garlic Oil for this recipe only, heat a small saucepan over low heat with 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 5 whole cloves of garlic, 12 basil leaves and 1 tsp of pepper flakes. Keep the heat on low to allow the ingredients to warm slowly and release their flavors. When the garlic is lightly browned, turn heat off and let cool for 10 minutes. Let the oil sit so the oil is well infused. Strain the oil, discarding the solids. Make this in advance of preparing this pasta dish and I strongly recommended doubling or quadrupling this recipe to keep for future use. If you make a larger batch of oil don’t discard the solids – I leave them in for added flavor until ready to use.
This Pasta Marinara is based on Chef Conant’s recipe. He uses fresh plum tomatoes and I have done this before according to his recipe, however for this dish I used canned San Marzano tomatoes which are delicious when prepared as I’ve described. And much less complicated! Fresh tomatoes requires a process of taking the tomatoes from boiling to cold to remove the skin and although it is worth the effort, I rarely have time to do that with all I have to juggle at home. Please note this recipe yields 4-6 servings of sauce so you can make your pasta servings fresh the next day or freeze the sauce to use at a later date.
Chef Conant uses spaghetti – I use whole wheat linguine. He serves without any accompaniments and is just fine with me! However I’m always looking for ways to incorporate vegetables so I added roasted vegetables. Although it feels like summer it is technically still spring so I used a chock full of spring vegetables to roast; zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, broccoli. Complemented with shitake mushrooms and fresh basil it provides bold, intense flavor. And top off anything with Parmigiano-Reggiano always helps make me smile.
Feed the wellness in you!
Two cans of tomatoes will yield 4-6 servings so if you don't want so much sauce just half the recipe. I always cook two cans to have over a few days or to freeze and use later.
- 2 cans of San Marzano whole tomatoes
- 1 box whole wheat linguine
- 1/2 cup zucchini, sliced
- 1/2 cup yellow squash, sliced
- 1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup asparagus tips
- 1 cup broccoli crowns
- 1 cup Parmigiano - Reggiano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
- Garlic Basil Oil (already prepared)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Sea Salt
- Fresh Basil sliced thinly (about 4 leaves used per serving)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Wash and pat dry the vegetables and mushrooms. Toss them in a bowl with 1 tbl EVOO, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder.
- On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, lay the vegetables out evenly and roast for 20-30 minutes. Turn the vegetables over midway.
- In a large, wide pan add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and a tsp of sea salt. Cook for 15 minutes. Mash the tomatoes and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- While the tomatoes are cooking, cook half of the box of pasta according to its al dente instructions. Half the box should yield 2-4 servings.
- Once pasta is cooked, transfer one serving of pasta to a smaller pan.
- Add about 3/4 cup of the tomato sauce and stir.
- Add 4 basil leaves, 1/4 c Parmigiano - Reggiano and a tsp of garlic basil oil. Mix well and transfer to plate
- Top with some roasted vegetables and serve.