Cavatappi Pasta with Basil Marinara loads up on the fresh basil making this simple (and very affordable) marinara perfect for weeknight dinners. This is a very simple recipe, but a few techniques keep it tasting delicious. Make sure to use very fresh basil, and don’t cut it up until right before serving. Caramelizing half the onions adds natural sweetness to the tomatoes. And adding butter right at the end gives the sauce a smooth texture and finish. This dish pairs well with rich sides like a creamy brie, or fresh bread with olive oil.
Techniques for perfect Cavatappi Pasta with Basil Marinara
- Cook the pasta to just a bit firmer than al dente, it will finish cooking in the sauce.
- Gently caramelize half the onion to naturally sweeten the sauce.
- Wait until you are ready to serve the dish to cut the basil. This will ensure maximum herbal fragrance on your plate.
More Delicious Pasta Recipes
- 1 bouquet fresh basil, leaves only
- 1 yellow onion, dice and divide into 2 piles.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cavatappi pasta (or similar like penne or ziti)
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano (omit or substitute if vegan)
- 4 tablespoons salted butter or butter substitute
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- Pasta: Bring half a pot of water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil. Add cavatappi and cook to just before al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Sauce: Heat large skillet to medium and add one tablespoon olive oil and half of the diced onion. Saute until soft, then add minced garlic. Once garlic browns pour in the can of crushed tomatoes and the other half of the diced onion, stir to combine. Cover and simmer until the onion turns translucent, about 4 minutes. Add cooked and drained pasta and 4 tablespoons butter. Let sit for about 1 minute until the butter has melted and pasta is al dente, then stir to combine.
- To serve: Chiffonade basil. Spoon pasta into bowl and top with sliced basil and shaved or grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 775Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 2539mgCarbohydrates: 76gFiber: 10gSugar: 23gProtein: 22g