Take a beautiful beefsteak tomato from our Farmer's Market, picked fresh that morning . . .
. . . add basil from our pot in kitchen garden . . .
. . . put these into the culinary hands of wife Carol (shown above basking in Rome, not slaving away in the kitchen) . . . and you have her favorite summertime pasta: spaghetti with fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic. So simple, so pure, so perfect! And it takes less than ten minutes after the pasta is done.
Here is what she does when she cooks this delicacy for our summertime dinner:
Put plenty of water in the pasta pot, add salt and get to get to a raging boil. Put in (for us) about eight ounces of wonderful pasta di Gragnano spaghetti. While the pasta is cooking, peel and dice two good size garlic cloves, take one good size beefsteak tomato (we favor beefsteaks for this recipe because they break down into an absolutely fabulous sauce, capably of totally coating the spaghetti); about a full quarter cup of fresh basil leaves, torn apart by hand; a tablespoon of butter, a quarter cup or so of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and some salt and pepper.
When the pasta is properly al dente, drain and put into the pan. Over a medium heat, add the garlic. When, after a minute or so, the garlic starts to sizzle, add tomatoes and stir and let them break apart into a sauce and coat the pasta strands. Add salt and a couple of twists of freshly ground pepper, a couple of tablespoons of the Parmesan, and the butter and salt, and stir.
When well mixed, then add the basil leaves -- you do not want them to cook, just get warm. Stir again and serve with some extra Parmesan.