Tuesday, April 26, 2011


At the top of my list of countries to visit is...Italy.  Can you tell from my book collection?

Rachel's family is from Italy, so we plan to travel there together sometime in the near future.  In the meantime, I'll be thumbing through these books and reading blogs about Italy!  I think my next purchase might be Rosetta Stone: Italian.

Anyway, when the May issue of Bon Appétit arrived in my mailbox, I knew exactly what I was making for dinner that night.  The cover picture was of spaghetti in a tomato sauce, and I'm all about tomato sauce.  I LOVE IT ON EVERYTHING.

The teaser on the cover said, "The simplest, silkiest sauce you'll ever make." p. 142.  I got so excited. But this recipe didn't call for any protein, so I decided to throw in some garlic sauteed shrimp along with some mozzarella cubes.  The result was a very happy belly.

Pasta Al Pomodoro
Serves 4

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1  28oz. can peeled tomatoes, puréed in a food processor
3 large basil sprigs, plus more for garnish
12 oz. spaghetti or penne
2 Tbsp. cubed unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, Pecorino, or cubed Mozzarella

Heat 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 a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute more.  Increase heat to medium, add puréed tomatoes and season lightly with 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 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot.  Season with salt; add pasta 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 cubed butter and cheese (and cooked shrimp if you desire!).  Sprinkle with remaining basil and serve.  Enjoy!

20 minutes later 


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