Nothing says comfort food like a nice big bowl of spaghetti. More and more, I can picture myself becoming a little ol' nonna working away in the kitchen. This spaghetti dish is brilliant for a sunday lunch in the backyard surrounded by family and lots of vino. Can you think of a better way to end a weekend?
- 3 pounds of vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and coarsely diced
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, cleaned and chopped
- 1 carrot, cleaned and chopped
- 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of salt and ground black pepper
- 1 pound of fresh spaghetti
- Parmigiano-Reggiano to sprinkle on top
- Start by cooking the tomatoes in a large pan with the lid over a high heat, with the onion, the celery, and the carrot for about 10 minutes to soften the vegetables
- Remove the lid and keep the boil for another 10-15 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon
- Lower the heat to medium-low, and add the basil leaves and a drizzle of oil. The tomato sauce is ready with the sauces starts to form small craters of sauce instead of bubbles of water
- Either use a stainless steel food mill or a blender to puree the sauce to achieve the right consistency
- Add olive oil and adjust the bitterness with some salt and more pepper
- To cook the spaghetti al dente, fill a large pan with cold water and place over high heat. When the water comes to a boil add a handful of coarse salt and the pasta, without breaking it
- When done, remove the pasta pot from the stove. Drain in a colander and add the pasta to the sauce. Sprinkle the cheese and garnish with a few leaves of basil
- Buon Appetito!
- In order to transition this spaghetti to an amatriciana sauce, add guanciale (cheek lard) into small strips and brown into a small skillet until crisp. If guanciale is not available, use pancetta. Add this to the pureed sauce and simmer over low heat for a few minutes.