Courtesy Michael Lomonaco, chef/owner, Porter House New York, New York City
Boiling pasta in less water than you think (about 8 cups) gives you extra-starchy pasta water that makes a richer sauce. Use the ripest tomatoes possible for this recipe.
- 3 large heirloom tomatoes, peeled* and chopped
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 12 ounces dried penne pasta
- 10 large basil leaves, torn
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese
- Fresh-ground pepper
In large serving bowl, combine tomatoes, olive oil and red pepper flakes. Cook pasta in well-salted water according to package directions. When done, reserve one cup of pasta water, and drain pasta.
Pour hot pasta in bowl with tomatoes, add half reserved pasta water, and mix well. If pasta seems dry, add more pasta water to achieve desired sauce consistency.
Just before serving, toss in basil, pine nuts and cheese. Add salt and fresh-ground pepper, to taste. Serves 4.
*Cut a small, shallow “X” in base of each tomato. Place in boiling water for 30 seconds, then transfer to bowl of ice water. When cool enough to handle, peel skin away starting at “X.”