5 to 6 qts water
2 to 3 tablespoon salt
14 to 16 oz penne (tube shaped) pasta or spaghetti
4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped into chunks
1 Italian pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. cherry tomatoes, washe'd and left whole
3 to 4 tablespoon fresh chopped basil leaves
1 to 2 cup pasta cooking water
Bring 5 to 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add salt and spaghetti. Cook until it still offers considerable resistance to the tooth, about three quarters of the cooking time.
While the pasta is cooking, saute the garlic and pepper in the oil over moderate heat in a large nonstick skillet. When the garlic barely begins to color, add the cherry tomatoes and season lightly with the sea salt. Cook over high heat until the tomatoes lose their shape.
Drain the spaghetti and add it to the skillet along with 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, to amalgamate the tomatoes and pasta and to complete cooking. Add more pasta water if the sauce gets too dry.
Sprinkle with chopped basil before serving.
Note: Using the cooking water adds an extra creaminess to it. The creaminess comes from the starch from the pasta.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings