Cavatappi Pasta with 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, adding a whole sprig infuses the sauce with basil flavor. 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
- Barely brown the garlic. This will add a bit of caramel flavor while keeping it fresh and bright.
- Chop the Parmigiano Reggiano instead of shredding it. The larger pieces add a ton of delicious flavor.
- Cook the sauce in a skillet, this will help it thicken faster.
- Wait until the end to add the butter. This helps it to emulsify in the sauce.
More Delicious Pasta Recipes
- 1 bouquet of fresh basil
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cavatappi pasta (or similar like penne or ziti)
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons coarse salt, plus more to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Prep: Separate one whole sprig of basil from the bouquet, keep that sprig whole with leaves attached. Remove the leaves from the other stems and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Finely chop the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
- Pasta: Bring half a pot of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Add cavatappi and cook to al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Sauce: Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil and the diced yellow onion. Saute the onion until it is soft, then add the minced garlic. Once the garlic is lightly browned, pour in the can of crushed tomatoes, then gently stir to combine. Add the whole sprig of basil into the sauce. Simmer over medium heat to thicken, about 10 minutes. Add the 3 tablespoons of softened butter and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve: Stir the cooked pasta into the sauce. Spoon the pasta into a bowl and sprinkle with the torn basil and the chopped Parmigiano Reggiano.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 775Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 2539mgCarbohydrates: 76gFiber: 10gSugar: 23gProtein: 22g