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Old May 17, 2017   #1
EarlyBird
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Default Scott Conant's Tomato Basil Spaghetti

What may sound ridiculously simple is actually all about the technique, made famous by restaurateur Scott Conant, and produces the best marinara on spaghetti you'll ever get. There are a few steps all which can be done in tandem and the whole thing takes about 40 minutes. This is not a long-cooked sauce at all and is not meant to be.

5 - 6 basil stems
2 - 3 garlic cloves, smashed but with skin on
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil

1 lb. of super fresh Roma or other paste tomatoes peeled and seeded, or 1 large can of whole tomatoes strained of seeds, with their juice
salt
1/4 stick of butter
4 - 5 leaves of basil cut into fine ribbons (chiffonade)
Parmesan or pecorino cheese, grated fine

1 lb spaghetti - reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water

In very small sauce pan add the basil stems, garlic with skins, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Heat using the very lowest heat possible. This creates a flavor infused oil that you add at the end.

Crush the tomatoes by hand into a deep saute pan or skillet, with their juice, and plenty of salt. Get that going over medium heat. You're going to cook this and allow some of the liquid to evaporate for about 30 - 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile in a large pot, bring plenty of salted water to boil for the spaghetti. After the sauce has been cooking for about 25 minutes boil the spaghetti for about 8 minutes or until al dente.

Drain the cooked spaghetti and reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water, and add the spaghetti to the tomato sauce. Toss well and cook in the tomatoes for about another two minutes, but don't overcook the pasta. If it soaks up too much liquid add a bit of the cooking water and toss.

Then, strain the flavored oil into the pan, add the butter and basil, and then toss. Take it off the heat and toss in the cheese and serve immediately. The "tossing" is important: you want to sort of lift everything very high and dramatically with the tongs to get air into it. Truly, it's important.

You won't have a ton of sauce, but well coated spaghetti in a sort of orange, wonderfully flavored sauce. Really excellent!

Last edited by EarlyBird; May 17, 2017 at 05:17 PM.
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