- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 red chili pepper, such as a Fresno chili pepper, thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, lightly crushed
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Freshly grated Pecorino cheese
- A few torn basil leaves, for garnish
- Heat the EVOO over medium heat in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add the garlic and chili pepper and stir for 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is very light golden in color. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper; cover the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the tomatoes burst, shaking the pan occasionally. Uncover and add the vinegar; reduce the heat to low and reduce a minute or two more.
- Once the tomatoes are in the saucepan and have been cooking for 5 minutes or so, salt the boiling water, drop in the pasta and cook to al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining.
- Break the tomatoes up a bit with a potato masher; add 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water and parsley to the pan, then toss with the drained spaghetti for 1-2 minutes, using a little more of the starchy cooking water to combine the sauce with pasta if necessary. Serve in shallow bowls topped with Pecorino cheese and basil. Leftovers are delicious as a cold salad as well. Toss with arugula and a little extra oil and vinegar.