- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 red chili pepper, such as a Fresno chili pepper, thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, lightly crushed
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 pound regular or whole grain spaghetti
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Freshly grated Pecorino cheese
- A few torn basil leaves, for garnish
Heat the EVOO over medium heat in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add the garlic and chili pepper and stir for 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is very light golden in color. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper; cover the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the tomatoes burst, shaking the pan occasionally. Uncover and add the vinegar; reduce the heat to low and reduce a minute or two more.
Once the tomatoes are in the saucepan and have been cooking for 5 minutes or so, salt the boiling water, drop in the pasta and cook to al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining.
Break the tomatoes up a bit with a potato masher; add 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water and parsley to the pan, then toss with the drained spaghetti for 1-2 minutes, using a little more of the starchy cooking water to combine the sauce with pasta if necessary. Serve in shallow bowls topped with Pecorino cheese and basil.
Leftovers are delicious as cold salad as well. Toss with arugula and a little extra oil and vinegar.
This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, visit