Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

Today, I decided to prepare pasta with a very simple, no frills tomato sauce. I hadn't done that in a really long time. The recipe is from Bon Appetit ("Pasta al Pomodoro"). This is one of the sauces that actually do go well with spaghetti. In my opinion, because of practical reasons, spaghetti are only good with smooth sauces. If it's a chunky sauce, the pasta of your choice should be short. I hardly ever use the kind of pasta a particular recipe suggests because it's not a good pairing. Don't get me wrong, spaghetti are maybe my favorite pasta - I just love to twirl them on my fork. But most of the time, the chunks from the sauce fall of and remain on the plate, so it's better to use a short pasta.

4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1-2 tsp dried minced garlic
black pepper
one 28-oz can diced tomatoes, puréed in a food processor
1-2 tsp dried crushed basil
12-16 oz spaghetti
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino

Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 20 minutes. Add basil, cook for 1-2 minutes and remove from heat. Meanwhile, cook pasta until 2 minutes before al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 of cooking liquid. Heat sauce over high heat and add cooking water if needed. Add pasta and cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, add butter and cheese, and toss until cheese melts. Serve with more cheese if desired.

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