Upon reading my latest post, my friend N e-mailed me a photo of little cherry tomatoes she recently picked from her aunt’s plant in Tuscany, clearly related to the one on my patio. She cooked them as a variation of the “Oil, Garlic and Red Pepper Spaghetti” recipe which is a staple of Italian peasant cuisine or, in my youth, a staple of 3 in the morning meals after a night of partying, where not much else other than garlic, olive oil and spaghetti can be found in a student’s pantry.
Also perfect for an impromptu gathering.
Cook spaghetti in salted, boiling water. While the pasta is cooking, heat a few tablespoons of good quality olive oil in a pan. Add a couple of cloves of garlic, either peeled and smashed or chopped (depending on how much of a garlic breath you wish for) and sautee them having care not to brown the garlic. Add red pepper flakes to taste, possibly from dried red peppers rather than a jar, and cherry tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes until they soften but don’t break.
Drain the pasta reserving some of the cooking liquid. Pour it in the pan with the reserved cooking water and mix, adding olive oil as needed.
Serve with an abundant sprinkle of pecorino cheese.