Pasta al pomodoro always brings me great memories of my Rosa, the Italian woman that practically adopted me when I lived in Italy. Her words ring in my ears like one of those oldies songs that transport you to a moment in time, “Vinna! Vieni a vedere cosa sto facendo” meaning “Vinna, come and see what I’m doing!”
In a matter of seconds I was whisked away to her beautiful Italian kitchen, not only by her voice but, by the smell that lassoed me like a cowboy and his bull, or a pair of brand new Manolo Blanik’s to Sarah Jessica Parker.
In her saucepan she had what she called the potion to win any man’s heart.. a freshly made, well done pomodoro sauce.
What’s the big deal of a tomato sauce you might ask yourself?
There are a trillion recipes for this “simple sauce”, however this I find to be not only delicious but simple and fast.
Pay close attention to the instructions because you will be dancing between two pots.. one will be for the pasta and one for the sauce.
What You Need:
- 4 Cups of Cherry Tomatoes or Heirloom tomatoes, cut into halves
- 5 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Fresh Basil leaves or 2 teaspoons of dried basil
- 2 Cloves garlic, peeled whole
- ½ small onion, peeled and chopped finely.
- 1 package of Pasta (Spaghetti or whichever you prefer)
- 2 Tablespoons of Salt
- 5 quarts of water
1. In a large pot heat the water, with the salt, so that it comes to a boil.
2. As you are waiting for the water to boil, in another saucepan heat the Olive Oil over medium heat.
3. Add the onion and garlic to the oil and cook for 4minutes or until the onion is a bit transparent and the garlic is a light golden color.
4. Add the tomatoes, lower heat slightly and cook. As they soften squish down with a wooden spoon so that the insides gush out and start forming a sauce.
5. As the tomato sauce is cooking place pasta in the other pot with the boiling water.
6. After cooking the pasta for 3 minutes, with a coffee cup or measuring cup take out a cup of the water.
7. Add that pasta water into the tomato sauce and stir.
8. Add the basil to the sauce.
9. Check the package of the pasta to see how long it takes to cook and make sure to stir around so that the pasta doesn’t stick to each other (contrary to belief you do not need oil in the water). Subtract 2 minutes to that written time and cook to that new time and then strain the pasta. (example: package says to cook 8 minutes then 8-2= 6 minutes; cook only for 6 minutes.)
10. Quickly, once strained, add the Pasta into the tomato sauce and cook for the last 2 minutes.
11. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.
12. Serve hot, with plenty of good quality Parmesan cheese on the side and for those that like spicy some dried crushed red pepper.