Simple Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

This basic pasta dish can be transformed by adding extras like cooked bacon, shrimp or even a few handfuls of baby spinach to the sauce. We like canned San Marzano plum tomatoes because they are slightly sweeter and less acidic than other varieties.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 5 min
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 cups sauce
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3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced

Kosher salt

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

One 28-ounce can San Marzano plum tomatoes, crushed by hand

1 cup torn basil leaves

12 ounces spaghetti

Grated Parmesan, optional

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.


  1. Cook the oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper flakes in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring, until the oil heats up and the garlic just starts to turn golden, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes; rinse the can with about 1 cup of water, and add the water to the skillet. Add the basil, raise the heat to medium-high and simmer until the sauce thickens, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add the spaghetti to the boiling water, and cook according to package directions; strain well.
  4. Add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce, and stir to coat. Serve with Parmesan if desired.

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