This is a super simple recipe that is light and delicious. Fresh, ripe ingredients are key to the flavors.
Cherry tomatoes - about 12 oz. (Either all red or multi-color)
6 Garlic cloves
Olive oil, 3/4 cup. (the oil is basically "the sauce," so don't skimp).
Fresh Basil - about 12 large leaves. (if in doubt, air on the side of more, rather than less)
Salt (to taste)
Grated Pecorino Romano
Chili flakes (optional)
A pound of pasta. Spaghetti or Angel hair preferable
Set the pasta water to boil. Add about 1 tbsp of salt (some of the flavor will come from the pasta's saltiness).
Mince the garlic.
Slice tomatoes in half.
Loosely chop the basil.
Once everything is chopped and prepped, add the pasta to the water, as the cooking of the tomatoes should only take about 5 minutes max.
Pour olive oil into a sauté pan and heat. After a minute, test the oil with a tiny piece of garlic, if it starts bubbling, add the garlic only. After 30 seconds, reduce heat to medium-low. The slower you cook the garlic, the more golden and balanced in flavor it will be.
When the garlic turns a golden brown, add the tomatoes and half of the basil.
Saute for about 5 minutes. Stir/toss gently so you don't smash the tomatoes.
Strain the pasta when al dente and drain off the water well. Do not rinse.
Add the pasta directly to the pan and toss gently but generously.
Add a bit of the leftover chopped basil to each plate.
IF YOU'D LIKE CRISPY OLIVES AS A TOPPING OPTION...
Drain off a jar of pitted kalamata olives. Use a paper towel to absorb any excess liquid.
Crisp in a small frying pan in a bit of olive oil. At first on high heat, then, after about 30 seconds, on medium/low heat. Stir frequently. Do not let them burn.
Leave out in a small bowl as an option to add to the pasta serving.