I Tried the Pasta Queen’s “The Cobbler’s Wife” Spaghetti and It’s as Simple as It Is Delicious
If you want to get more into cooking, now is the best time of year to dive headfirst into any and all culinary endeavors. Why? Because late-summer produce makes summer superior to any other season. The greatest joy of cooking during late August and early September is that you really don’t need to do much to your food because it’s delicious as is. Skip the long braises and intricate soups and stews; save those for the middle of winter when the only things at the farmers market are potatoes and cabbage. This time of year is all about speedy salads and pasta.
It’s for this exact reason that when I saw @the_pastaqueen whip up a quick, simple cherry tomato pasta dish (dubbed “The Cobbler’s Wife,” aka Spaghetti allo Scarpariello), I knew I had to make it — and quick, before tomato season is gone. So I did what any pasta-loving gal would do and gave it a whirl. Here’s how it all went.
How to Make the Cobbler’s Wife
The story behind this dish is that a shoemaker’s wife was trying to impress her husband. And true to the Pasta Queen’s form, this recipe is incredibly quick and simple and only requires a few basic ingredients.
To start, sauté some minced garlic, chopped basil, and chopped chilis in a skillet with extra-virgin olive oil until they’re softened and fragrant. Next, add a few cups of halved grape or cherry tomatoes and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook any long noodle (spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, etc.) in a pot of heavily salted water. As the tomatoes and pasta are cooking separately, ladle a few spoonfuls of the salty pasta water onto the tomatoes to help them simmer and release their flavor.
Once the tomatoes are bursting and the noodles are just shy of al dente, drain your pasta (reserving some extra pasta water) and add the pasta to the tomatoes. Add a heavy hand of grated Parmesan and Pecorino Romano and gently toss the pasta and cheese into the tomatoes, drizzling some extra pasta water in there to help coat the noodles and create a thick, luscious sauce. Twirl the pasta into a bowl and top with more cheese and fresh basil.
Get the recipe: The Cobbler’s Wife (Spaghetti allo Scarpariello)
My Honest Review
The Pasta Queen only drops winners. I have made my fair share of her recipes, and I have concluded that what I really like about them is their simplicity. There’s not a huge emphasis on measurements or ratios, which is an approach that I very much appreciate. It’s more about the feeling. Does the dish need more heat? Add chiles. More freshness? Add basil or parsley. More aromatics? Add more garlic. Cook the way you want your food to taste, you know? Her methods are quick and easy, the ingredients are humble, and the final result is always uncomplicated and delicious.
“The Cobbler’s Wife” was no exception to her long-running list of tasty recipes. There is no better time than now to take advantage of the super-sweet grape or cherry tomatoes that are fully in season. The best part is that you really don’t need to do much to make them absolutely to-die-for in a simple pasta dish. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but tomatoes, garlic, basil, pasta, and Parm are quite the combination of ingredients. Seriously, you should make it now.
3 Tips for Making the Pasta Queen’s Cobbler’s Wife Pasta
- Use the best tomatoes that you can find. She made a note of this in her IG stories, but it’s super important to use the sweetest, most delicious tomatoes you can find. They’re the star of the recipe, so if they’re not up to par then you’ll taste it in your final product.
- Always reserve your pasta water. Just as she instructs, using reserved pasta water is crucial to the success of this recipe. This will help bind the juicy tomatoes to the cooked noodles and create a smooth, creamy sauce with the cheeses.
- Undercook your pasta. Frankly, if you boil your pasta to al dente, you’ve cooked it too far. Instead, pull it just before it’s about to be al dente. Because you’re going to continue to cook the noodles over low heat once they’re added to the tomatoes, you should err on the side of caution so that they don’t end up mushy and overcooked.