There is a restaurant in San Francisco that serves the best spaghetti on the planet. Their menu changes daily, but the spaghetti is the one thing that never gets cut. It is so basic, you wonder what makes it so good. Unfortunately, I don't have the recipe (I will pay for it if anyone has any connections), but this is my best attempt to replicate it. The recipe is so simple and quick, you'll never buy pre-made sauce again. And, this happens to be a perfect pizza sauce, too. Anyway, a couple tips: one is to make the noodles extra al dente. Start checking them at about 1/2 the time it says on the package. You want them to be chewy, so take them out when there is still a little crunch in the middle. Second: make sure you get crushed tomatoes...not diced, not pureed. San Marzano tomatoes are the best, IMHO. A bowl of this pasta and a nice chianti make perfect comfort food.
Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with the back of a knife
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
1/2 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 lb good quality organic whole wheat spaghetti (or any noodle you have on hand)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil for topping (optional)
Grated vegan parmesan, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese for topping (optional)
Bring salted (3-4 Tbsps) water (4-5 quarts) for noodles to a boil. Combine olive oil, garlic, chili flakes and salt in large saute pan over medium/high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes, stirring until oil is mixed in. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, turn off heat and stir in the lemon zest. Remove garlic cloves. Meanwhile, cook noodles until barely al dente, about 1/2 -2/3 the package cooking time, depending on the type/brand. Stir noodles into sauce and top with basil and/or cheese.