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Blistered tomato, olive oil and basil spaghetti

(from Food for the Soul, page 85)

This no-frills recipe can be ready in under 20 minutes and allows the simplicity of the classic combination of tomatoes, basil and parmesan to shine through. I'm all for buying more supermarket-brand produce but with olive oil I always buy the best quality I can find because it really does make a big difference.

Total time to make : 20 minutes Time to prep : 5 minutes

Servings : 2


4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

400g cherry tomatoes

Large handful of fresh basil leaves

1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

250g spaghetti (fresh or dried)

30g parmesan cheese, finely grated

Salt and pepper, to season


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a low-medium heat and add in the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes until it starts to go soft and golden, being careful not to burn it

  2. Add the whole cherry tomatoes and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook for 15 minutes until the tomatoes begin to blister and burst, releasing their juices

  3. In the meantime, bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil for the pasta, cook for 1 minute less than it says on the packet instructions

  4. Finely chop the basil (leaves and stalks), reserving a few whole leaves to garnish. Add the balsamic vinegar and chopped basil to the saucepan and turn the heat to low whilst you finish the pasta

  5. Drain the pasta, reserving a few tablespoons of the starchy pasta water. Add these to the simmering tomatoes and stir everything together. Taste for seasoning and adjust with more salt if necessary

  6. Plate up the pasta using tongs to swirl it gently on to the plates. Top with freshly torn basil leaves, finely grated parmesan cheese, a small drizzle of olive oil and lots of freshly cracked black pepper

Nutritional Information

(per serve)

590 calories

14g protein, 52g carbs, 30g fat

Good to know:

  • Store in the fridge for up to 3 days

  • Vegetarian, to make this dairy free and vegan - use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan, or skip completely


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