In the summer, I make this pasta sauce at least once a week. It’s fresh, tomatoe-y and vibrant, and the best part - it’s a cinch to make! This was the first recipe I learned when I started cooking in college. I was missing home and my Mom walked me through the steps over the phone. It's still one of my favorite recipes and my boys LOVE this meal so much that they always end up dancing a little in their high chairs after the first bite. Really!! The tomatoes really are the star ingredient: make sure you buy the most flavorful ones you can, and after that everything will be a piece of cake….errr pasta.
SPAGHETTI WITH TOMATOES & BASIL
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
small bunch of fresh herbs (1 sprig rosemary, 2 stems oregano)
1 chile de arbol (optional)
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup sliced garlic
1 pound spaghetti or penne
2 pounds very ripe tomatoes, chopped
½ cup sliced basil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Put a large pot of salted water over high heat to boil.
2. Heat a sauté pan on high for 2 minutes. Add in olive oil, then rosemary, oregano and the chile. Allow to sizzle for one minute.
3. Add the onion, garlic, and dried thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium and cook another 3-4 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
4. Drop the spaghetti in the water, then add the tomatoes to the sauté pan. Continue cooking sauce for about 8 minutes, until tomatoes begin to break down and form a sauce. Season with more salt and pepper. Taste!
5. Once the pasta is just shy of al dente, remove from the boiling water and add to the sauce. Toss pasta and sauce together until combined, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Mix in fresh basil at the very end.
6. Optional final touches: a dallop of butter (1 tbspn) or a generous sprinkling of parmesan!
7. Bon appétit
1. Ugly tomatoes are perfect for this recipe. If you find some bumpy, almost too-ripe tomatoes, with a deep tomatoe-y scent, scoop them up as fast as you can, because they’re perfect for sauce-making.
2. Ask for “seconds”. If you happen to be buying your tomatoes at a farmers market, ask the vendor for “seconds” at a cheaper price. These are the flavorful, ripe and not-so-pretty tomatoes that were born to be saucy.
3. Taste before you buy. If you have the opportunity, try a sample of the tomatoes you’re buying. Get a tomato good enough to be eaten on its own, and half the work of a great sauce is already done for you.
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Farm to Table Family focuses on bringing the family together through healthy, tasty, and beautiful foods. The recipes are modern takes on traditional favorites inspired by the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients.
Music by Tom Eddy
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