Spaghetti With Basil and Broiled Tomatoes
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: From “Dinner Illustrated,” by the editors of America’s Test Kitchen.
• 6 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
• 1 lb. spaghetti (or linguine or bucatini)
• 1 c. (2 oz.) grated Parmesan, divided
• 2 tbsp. pine nuts
• 6 Roma tomatoes
• 1/2 tsp. sugar
• Black pepper
• 2 tsp. lemon zest and 2 tbsp. juice from 1 lemon
• 1 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped, divided
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot.
To make garlic oil: Heat garlic, 1/4 cup oil and pepper flakes in 8-inch nonstick skillet over low heat, stirring often, until garlic is pale golden brown, 9 to 12 minutes; remove from heat and set aside.
To prepare pasta: Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to the pot.
While pasta cooks, adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler.
Combine 1/2 cup Parmesan and pine nuts in bowl and set aside.
Core and cut tomatoes crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices (slicing off and discarding ends), and place in large bowl. Add sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss to coat. Arrange tomatoes in even layer on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Top tomatoes evenly with Parmesan-pine nut mixture.
Broil tomatoes until topping is golden brown, rotating sheet halfway through cooking, 3 to 6 minutes total (time will vary according to individual broilers). Watch tomatoes carefully to get them to a crispy, golden brown without burning.
Add lemon zest and juice, reserved garlic-oil mixture, and reserved cooking water to pasta. Stir until well coated with oil and no water remains in pot.
Add 3/4 cup basil and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide pasta among individual bowls, top with tomatoes, drizzle with extra oil to taste, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup basil.