This is one of my all-time favorite tomato-centered meals. Fresh tomatoes are a bonus, but obviously canned tomatoes provide the same classic taste. This is an easy dinner when I'm in a hurry that you can rely on as a Monday through Friday staple, as I do, or serve it for a casual Saturday night with friends. Serve it alongside a green salad with a creamy dressing to balance the spice and fresh bread.
Technique tip: It's important to generously salt your water. It adds flavor to your pasta. Don't rinse your pasta after cooking, and don't drain all the water; save some to flavor your sauce.
- 1 pound penne rigate
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- One 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- Shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning and black pepper. Bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the 1/4 cup chopped basil.
3. Stir the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water into the tomato mixture. Garnish with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and additional basil, if desired, and serve warm.
Excerpted from Valerie's Home Cooking by Valerie Bertinelli. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.
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