Freshly-made pasta sauce doesn't have to take all day -- in fact, you can make this light, from-scratch tomato basil pasta in less than 30 minutes, including time to boil the pasta.
This flavorful, light sauce is best served tossed with a thinner pasta, such as angel hair or thin spaghetti. It stores well in the refrigerator for a couple days, so don't be afraid of making a big pot of it and enjoying it for lunch or dinner the next day!
Being that this dish is so versatile, you can always add a lean protein of your choice, such as grilled chicken or shrimp.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomatoes are great to have in your diet. According to Health.com, tomatoes help fight off cellular damage and are packed with the following health benefits:
- Lycopene. This is a powerful antioxidant that can help fight off cellular and free-radical damage.
- Eye health. Lycopene, beta-carotene, and lutein are all beneficial to your eye health, helping protect against cataracts and macular-degeneration.
- Heart health. Higher levels of lycopene in your blood have been linked to lower death rates of people with heart conditions.
- Skin benefits. A study shows that tomatoes along with olive oil boost collagen production and can help protect skin from sun damage. Olive oil helps the lycopene absorb into your body.
There is more than a pound of tomatoes in this recipe, so enjoy the wonderful flavors while knowing you are giving your body a healthy boost!
Fresh Tomato Basil Pasta
16 oz. (approx. one box) angel hair or thin spaghetti pasta
24 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped or julienned
1/4 cup dry white wine (such as pinot grigio)
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Dash of red pepper flakes (to taste, optional)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
Boil pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/3 cup of pasta water for later.
In a large pot*, heat olive oil over medium heat, then add chopped shallots and minced garlic, cooking until shallots are translucent, about 2-3 minutes. (Be careful not to burn the garlic).
Add grape tomatoes, juice of 1/2 the lemon, white wine, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
Cook over medium heat until tomatoes burst, about 15 minutes. If tomatoes do not burst, you can mash them with a potato masher or poke with a fork.
Add basil and reserved pasta water to the sauce and simmer additional 5 minutes.
Add pasta to the sauce and toss with tongs.
Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
*Remember to use a large pot when making the sauce. While the sauce will not take up much of the pot, remember you will be adding the pasta to the sauce in the end.
Add lean proteins such as grilled chicken or shrimp if desired.
Save a few of the smaller, whole basil leaves for garnish, if desired.
For a sweeter pasta, add 1/2 - 1 tsp. white or brown sugar to the tomato sauce (before adding pasta).
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