Spaghetti al Pomodoro

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?

Ingredients:

  • 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 

Directions: 

  1. 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
  2. Remove the lid and keep the boil for another 10-15 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon
  3. 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 
  4. Either use a stainless steel food mill or a blender to puree the sauce to achieve the right consistency
  5. Add olive oil and adjust the bitterness with some salt and more pepper
  6. 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
  7. 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 
  8. Buon Appetito! 

Variations: 

  • 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.