It’s summer and if you’re like me, you’re thinking of every way to avoid turning on the oven, but not eat a sandwich or salad. Again. You’re in luck. This recipe involves the stove, but only for a few minutes.
I originally posted this recipe in 2010, but have updated it a bit. Spaghetti Margherita is a simple and straight-forward dish.While the pasta is cooking, you can throw together the sauce.
Some people think- Margherita Pasta? Is that alcoholic? The answer is no. Legend (some question this) says that Pizza Margherita was created in the late 1800’s, and named for Queen Margherita to reflect the colors of the Italian flag. The pasta variation followed.
I know I say this all of the time, but EVERYONE loves this dish. When I make it for my boys, they love it, even though it isn’t a meat dish. Now that’s saying something. Since they have never jumped aboard the “meat is not all that good for you and you should eat it sparingly” train.
Lazy summer days mean lazy summer nights.
This dish fits perfectly with that theme.
- ¾ lb. spaghetti, cooked "al dente", drained
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter (optional) optional, but highly recommended for flavor
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 lbs. Roma tomatoes (about 10-12) coarsely chopped or grape tomatoes
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ½ lb. fresh mozzarella, cut into ½ inch cubes
- ½ cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
- additional basil leaves for garnish
- Cook pasta. Set aside, or while pasta is cooking prepare sauce.
- In large skillet, heat oil and butter over low heat. Saute the garlic until fragrant over low heat, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add basil, and pasta to pan with tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes, just until all pasta is heated through. Just before ready to serve, pour into serving bowl, toss with fresh mozzarella and grated cheese. Serve at once with additional grated cheese, and more fresh basil if desired.
Make sure you are purchasing fresh mozzarella for this dish. Fresh Mozzarella is made from whole milk in small batches, usually round in shape and surrounded in liquid.
-If you aren't growing basil in your back yard, you can purchase fresh basil at farmers markets, grocery and garden stores. One plant will yield fresh basil for several recipes this summer.