Bring 5 to 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons salt and the spaghetti and 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 cloves and hot 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.
Recipe from Red, White & Greens by Faith Willinger