Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce

Spaghetti and Fresh Marinara with Basil
Photo: Marcus Nilsson
Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 to 6 Serves

Making marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes is a game-changer. Our secret to infusing it with big flavor? Simmering with sprigs of basil, then finishing with Parmesan and pasta water.


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 12 ounces long pasta, such as spaghetti or linguine

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (2 tablespoons)

  • 2 pounds beefsteak tomatoes, or a combination of beefsteak, heirloom, and Campari tomatoes, grated on a box grater (3 cups)

  • 2 basil sprigs, plus fresh leaves for serving

  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (½ cup packed), plus more for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until slightly less than al dente, about 2 minutes less than package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high until just sizzling, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and basil sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to about 2 cups, 8 to 10 minutes. Discard basil.

  3. Add pasta and 1/4 cup pasta water; cook, stirring, until pasta is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cheese and continue stirring and shaking pan, adding more pasta water as needed to create a creamy sauce. Serve, sprinkled with more cheese, basil leaves, and pepper, and drizzled with oil.

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