Scarpetta's Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Garlic Basil Oil Recipe from Frutta Si

Scarpetta's Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Garlic Basil Oil Recipe

Cook Time: 50 minutes


Servings: 4


  • 4 ripe organic tomatoes (preferably plum tomatoes)
  • 12 oz San Marzano (or organic whole tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch red chili pepper flakes, crushed
  •   kosher salt
  •   freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1/2 cup), freshly grated
  • 6-8 leaves fresh basil, well washed and dried, stacked and rolled into a cylinder and sliced thinly crosswise into a chiffonade
  • 1 lb spaghetti, either high-quality dry or homemade
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, whole
  • 10 leaves whole fresh basil
  • pinch red chili pepper flakes, crushed


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a large bowl of ice water nearby.
  2. Cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato. Ease the tomatoes into the pot and boil for about 15 seconds, then promptly move them to the waiting ice water. (Continue with the remaining tomatoes.) Pull off the skin with the tip of a paring knife. If the skin sticks, try a vegetable peeler using a gentle sawing motion. Cut the tomatoes in half and use your finger to flick out the seeds.
  3. In a wide pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat until quite hot. Add the fresh and canned tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and season lightly with the salt and pepper. (start with a light hand for the salt and pepper because as the tomatoes reduce, the salt will become concentrated) Let the tomatoes cook for a few minutes to soften. Then, using a potato masher, chop the tomatoes finely.
  4. Cook the tomatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened. (You can make the sauce, which yields about 2-3 cups, ahead of time. Refrigerate it for up to two days or freeze it for longer storage.)
  5. While the tomatoes are cooking, make the basil-garlic oil. Heat a small saucepan over low heat with 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic cloves, basil leaves and 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. The longer you let the oil sit, the more infused the oil. Strain the oil, discarding the solids.
  6. To cook the spaghetti, bring a large pot of amply salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until just shy of al dente and drain, reserve a little of the pasta cooking water.
  7. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and cook over medium-high heat, gently tossing the pasta and the sauce together with a couple of wooden spoons and a lot of exaggerated movement (you can even shake the pan) until the pasta is just tender and the sauce, if any oil had separated from it, now looks cohesive. (If the sauce seems too thick, add a little pasta cooking liquid to adjust it.)
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and toss the butter, basil and cheese with the pasta in the same manner (the pasta should take on an orange hue). Drizzle with just a bit of the basil-garlic oil on each plate.


Canned tomatoes

Extra virgin olive oil

Red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

Black peppercorns

Unsalted butter


Fresh basil


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