|Pasta Al Pomodoro|
Now that my boys are done with school, there will be days when I will be making an extra meal, namely lunch. Although it might be easier just to make a sandwich, pasta with a simple spaghetti sauce takes just a little bit more effort, and can turn lunch into a special meal.
My oldest son is headed off to college in the fall, and I have been savoring the time he has left at home before we drop him off at the campus footsteps. I have been especially mindful of the meals I’ve been preparing for him, trying to make his favorite foods as much as possible before he leaves, hoping that he will hold fond memories of home-cooked meals, and want to return home on breaks and holidays.
I have been saving the May issue of Bon Appetit as a reminder to try making the Pasta Al Pomodoro featured on the front cover as it resembles one my oldest son’s favorite pasta dishes. This pasta sauce is pure tomato, onion and garlic, clean tasting and satisfying, and is so much better than store-bought spaghetti sauce. Homemade pasta sauce is really simple to make – once you’ve made it, you’ll rarely turn to jarred tomato sauces again (except in cases of emergencies!)
I made a few adjustments to the recipe: I used whole grain pasta and left out the butter. In addition, I found the cooking times to be a bit long for sauteeing the onion and garlic. I also needed to add more pasta water to the sauce to obtain a looser consistency, so I’ve included these adjustments in the recipe below.
Needless to say, my boys were pleasantly surprised to be presented a beautiful, bright bowl of this Pasta Al Pomodoro for lunch. In fact, my oldest son requested the rest as an afternoon snack! When they asked where I got the recipe, I simply showed them the front cover of Bon Appetit.
Pasta Al Pomodoro
Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- one 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes, pureed in a food processor
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3 large fresh basil sprigs
- 12 ounces whole grain spaghetti (3/4 of a normal pack)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat.
- Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6-7 minutes.
- Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, and cook another minute.
- Increase heat to medium, and add pureed tomatoes. Season lightly with salt.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in basil sprigs.
- Meanwhile, cook spaghetti until about 2 minutes before tender (if the box says al dente takes 7 minutes to cook, then cook the pasta only 5 minutes).
- Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Drain pasta.
- Discard basil from tomato sauce and heat skillet over medium heat. Stir in 1/2 cup 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. Add more pasta water if sauce seems too thick.
- Remove pan from heat; add Parmesan cheese and toss.