By Crystal Grobe, Cafe Cyan

We’re getting closer and closer to joys of spring in Minnesota. I went to the Nicollet Mall farmers market on Thursday and while it was only the second week, the market was hopping. When the sun came out, I had a small taste of the glorious days of summer.

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Until the crops start coming in, I recommend picking up some fresh greenhouse grown basil and make this super simple dish for dinner. Any type of pasta would work well in this dish; I used whole-wheat fettuccine. While we didn’t have goat cheese, it would be fantastic crumbled on top.

(credit: Cafe Cyan)

Classic Tomato Spaghetti
Serves 4-6
(recipe credit: Jamie Oliver)

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2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chili
A small bunch of fresh basil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound dried spaghetti
Olive oil
1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
4 ounces Parmesan cheese
1 handful of baby spinach
4 oz. goat cheese

To prepare your pasta:
Peel and finely slice the garlic. Finely slice your chili (halve and seed it first if you don’t want the sauce too hot). Pick the basil leaves off the stalks and put to one side.

To cook your pasta:
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, put a large saucepan on a medium heat and add 2 good lugs of olive oil. Add the garlic, and chili and give them a stir. When the garlic begins to brown slightly, add most of the basil leaves and the canned tomatoes. Turn the heat up high and stir for a minute. Season with salt and pepper. Drain the spaghetti in a colander then transfer it to the pan of sauce and stir well. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.

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Stir in and warm through:
Add a handful of baby spinach leaves to the sauce at the same time you add the pasta—when the leaves have wilted remove from the heat and serve with some crumbled goat cheese on top.