- 300 gm spaghettini
- 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve (1/3 cup)
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1-2 small red chillies, thinly sliced
- ½-1 tsp dried hot chilli flakes
- 250 gm (about 2 cups) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup (loosely packed) basil
- 1Bring a saucepan of generously salted water (it should almost taste like the sea) to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add pasta and cook until just al dente (5 minutes; it should be just undercooked), then drain, reserving about 50ml cooking liquid.
- 2Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and chilli and fry until aromatic (30 seconds -1 minute). Add tomatoes and basil and increase heat to high. Stir to combine and cook until tomatoes release their juice (2-3 minutes). Add pasta and reserved cooking liquid and simmer until sauce thickens (2-3 minutes). Drizzle with extra olive oil, season to taste and serve hot.
Note This sauce is great on its own, or you can use it as a base to create many other tasty versions. You can mix in flaked good-quality tinned tuna; or add olives, capers and white anchovies, and parsley in place of basil to make a puttanesca fresca. Or go to Sicily by adding, raisins, pine nuts and tinned or fresh sardines for pasta con le sarde.