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Spaghetti Margherita (updated)

Servings 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side
Author abountifulkitchen

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb. spaghetti cooked "al dente", drained
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus a little more for drizzling on top after finished
  • 2 tablespoons butter 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
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • ½ cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • additional basil leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta. Set aside, or while pasta is cooking prepare sauce.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil and butter over low heat.
  3. Sauté the garlic until fragrant over low heat, about 1 minute.
  4. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper.
  5. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add basil, and pasta to pan with tomatoes.
  6. Cook for 2-3 minutes, just until all pasta is heated through.
  7. 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.
  8. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and top with a light sprinkle of course sea or kosher salt.

Recipe Notes

-Fresh Mozzarella differs from mozzarella that is sold in most cheese cases at grocery stores. Some grocery stores, such as Harmons in Utah, make their own fresh mozzarella daily. 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.