Capellini with Yellow Tomato Sauce and Fried Basil

By • August 26, 2012 0 Comments

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Author Notes: I love yellow tomatoes for their sweetness and the lack of acidity. The heavy cream, sweet basil and mild ricotta salata further accentuate this note. Beware -- the fried basil leaves are a delicacy on their own! You may want to fry a handful or two extra and pass a bowl of them around the table as a bonus dish.



Makes 4 first course servings

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds ripe yellow tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon basil leaves, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/2 pound capellini or angel hair pasta
  • 2 ounces shaved ricotta salata
  • 4 tablespoons extra light olive oil, or any other oil suitable for frying
  • A handful of small basil leaves (app 30-40 leaves, ideally from a small-leaf variety such as Greek basil, otherwise, use the leaves from the very top of the stem)
  1. In a large saucepan heat the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Stir in the sugar and shredded basil, season with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and is reduced to 3 cups, about 35 minutes. Add the heavy cream and simmer for another 5-10min. Season again with salt and a sprinkle of pepper.
  3. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot, and add the sauce and reserved cooking water.
  4. Transfer the pasta to individual bowls and sprinkle with shaved ricotta.
  5. In a small skillet heat the frying oil on medium heat, until almost smoking. Add the basil leaves -- the leaves will turn brilliant green and crisp in seconds. Lift them gently with a fork or a slotted spoon and place on top of the dish. Serve immediately.

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