cup small date tomatoes (about 30)
ounces of spaghetti (for this recipe I used De Cecco spaghettoni No.412)
tablespoons grated pecorino romano
tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
small hot peppers
salt and pepper to taste
- Mince onions, dice garlic, and cut date tomatoes lengthwise.
- Meanwhile bring a pot with water to a boil. When boiling, add coarse salt, and cook pasta following package instructions. Besides the quality of Pasta De Cecco, the main reason I am using this brand is because time indications on the package are very precise. For example, according to the package, cooking time for this pasta format – spaghettoni- is 13 minutes, which in fact is exactly the real-time it took me to cook the pasta.
- Heat a skillet with extra virgin olive oil (over medium high heat) and place diced garlic and hot peppers. Sautee for about 2-3 minutes to let flavors infuse into olive oil. Discard garlic and hot peppers.
- On the same skillet, and keeping the same heat intensity, sautee onions for about two minutes.
- Increase heat to high, add date tomatoes, and sautee for two minutes. Decrease heat to medium high and gently squeeze tomatoes to let the juices come out. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain pasta and transfer it to the skillet (over very low heat) with onions and tomatoes, add pecorino romano, and basil.
- To get the most out of ingredients, tear basil with your hands. Avoid cutting basil with a knife because it prevents essential oils from basil to let their aromas out
- Blend all ingredients.
- Plating the dish: To form a pasta nest, use a fork with long enough tines and hold it parallel over the skillet. Grab as much pasta as you can. Carefully transfer pasta to a soup ladle and twirl to form a nest. Gently place the nest on a plate. Finish by placing one o two basil leaf on top of the nest.