Quick and Easy Tomato Basil Pasta

I cannot begin to tell you how many times a month I make this. It's quick, easy and you can do a million variations to it. Here is the basic recipe though. I am really partial to the brand names here because I have used other brands and it doesn't come out right. So if you can, stick with what I say. :-)

6 TBSP DeCecco or Cento Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 medium onion chopped
3-4 cloves fresh garlic minced
1 28 oz can Tuttorosso or Cento San Marzano plum tomatoes (crush in a bowl with your hands)
1-2 fistfulls of fresh basil
1 tsp dried pepperoncini
salt/pepper to taste
pasta water as needed
1 lb box of any shape DeCecco pasta you want to use
Pecorino Romano cheese for garnish

Put your water on to boil for your pasta.

Heat oil in large skillet, add chopped onion, garlic and pepperoncini. Sprinkle with salt to break down the onions. Once the onions and garlic have become translucent, dump in your tomatoes. Simmer gently and add basil, salt and pepper to taste.

Drop your pasta in boiling, salted water. As the pasta cooks, add a ladelful or two of the startchy water to your tomato basil. (You will notice it cooks down prior to this step). You should have more than enough to coat the pasta.

At the point just before al dente for the pasta, drain and put directly in the tomato basil mixture. Turn heat on high and toss repeatedly. The pasta will begin to absorb up the juices from the mixture during its last minute or so of cooking time.

Remove from heat, drizzle with fresh olive oil and garnish with Pecorino (I find the saltiness in this sheep's milk cheese gives it that extra something. If you want to use Parmigiano, by all means go for it).

** You can do a million variations to this. Add some meat, veggies, beans. It is so versatile and it doesn't seem like you are having the same thing over and over. 20 minutes from start to finish. It's delicious and quick. My son loves it and actually requests it more often than I actually WANT to make it. :-)

Deliciously yours,
The Rotund Chef


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