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Old May 17, 2017   #1
EarlyBird
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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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Old May 17, 2017   #2
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Sounds good thanks for the time you took to post the recipe.
Worth
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Old May 17, 2017   #3
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Sounds wonderful! My little boy loves spaghetti is will give this a try. Thanks
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Old May 17, 2017   #4
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You're welcome.
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Old May 17, 2017   #5
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You're welcome. He'll love it. It's a good recipe to teach kids, too.
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Old May 18, 2017   #6
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Thanks for sharing! Except for the butter, this is very, very close to the recipe I use --

Sauté the sliced garlic in the oil on low heat until lightly browned and remove. Add the dry red pepper to the oil and bloom it. Add the crushed tomatoes and some basil and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook your pasta. When the pasta is almost done, add more basil and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to the sauce, add the pasta to the sauce and toss well, adding reserved pasta water if needed.

It's the only way I make spaghetti with tomato sauce now and I love the fact that it's ready in 30 minutes and everything except the pasta and oil can come from my garden!

I initially found it in a cookbook called "My Calabria" by Rosetta Costantino. I've seen various takes on it since then from other Calabrian cooks, again without the butter. Butter was not widely available in the rural areas of southern Italy. Olive trees, on the other hand, were everywhere!
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Old May 23, 2017   #7
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Sounds great. Nice and clean your way. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
Chapinz8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyBird View Post
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!
Tried this last week and it was really good.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
Labradors2
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Why remove the garlic?

Linda
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
Father'sDaughter
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Originally Posted by Labradors2 View Post
Why remove the garlic?

Linda


My understanding is that once the garlic has flavored the oil, it has nothing more to bring to the party.

I have left the slices of garlic in before, and they end up flavorless hunks that you then need to pick out because they're not worth eating.

In a pinch, I have made it with garlic powder, but it's just not the same.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #11
Labradors2
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Thanks for explaining Father'sDaughter.

Linda
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #12
Worth1
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I would leave it in and just eat it anyway as roughage and filler.
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