5.07.2011

pasta al pomodoro

Some nights call for easy dinners to whip up. Maybe it's been a long day at work, perhaps you're lacking in the ingredient department, or maybe you're in a rush to whip up din-din for someone special. Whatever your time dilemma is, you should still treat yourself to something absolutely delicious!

I'm a huge fan of Italian food, which is why I felt a tinge of excitement when I saw my sister's issue of Bon Appétit sitting on her table. That little bit of thrill came from seeing that the May issue was the "Italy Issue." Inside contained so many pizza, pasta, and delicious dessert goodies. Among them were a few quick and easy recipes, one in particular my sister swears by. So here it is...


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 oz. can peeled tomatoes, puréed in a food processor
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 large fresh basil sprigs
  • 12 oz. bucatini or spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp. cubed unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino

Preparation

Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a 12" skillet over medium-low heat. Add minced onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-4 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute more. Increase heat to medium, add puréed tomatoes and season lightly with kosher salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in basil sprigs, and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add spaghetti or bucatini and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.

Discard basil and heat skillet over high heat. Stir in reserved pasta water to loosen sauce; bring to a boil. 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; toss until cheese melts. Transfer to warm bowls; serve with more cheese, if desired. (Serves four).

You can always add a little sausage or meatballs to give this dish a little more oomph! I can't wait to try whipping it up once I get back home. Dinner party, anyone?

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