Friday, February 26, 2016

QUICK SICILIAN TOMATO SAUCE

A jar of passata di pomodoro is simply San Marzano tomatoes that have been strained of all of their seeds and pureed. It is very common to find in markets in Italy and now available in the USA and Canada. You should find it in the tomato sauce section. You probably know that I do not recommend using extra-virgin olive oil for frying your garlic and onions. If you get the heat too high, it ruins the olive oil. I recommend drizzling your best extra-virgin olive oil over finished pasta dishes and of course, salads.



1 T (15 ml) extra-light olive oil or grape seed oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ t (2 ml) red pepper flakes
1 glass jar (24 oz/750 ml) tomato sauce (passata di pomodoro)
¼ jar white wine or water
1 t (5 ml) sugar or ½ small carrot, finely grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 basil leaves, plus a couple for garnish
½ lb (250 g) penne pasta
1 T (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes for one minute.
Add the tomato sauce and fill the jar ¼ full with white wine or water and add to the sauce.
Add the sugar or grated carrot, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Tear or chop the basil and add to the sauce.

Stir and let simmer 25 minutes.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and add the pasta.
Let boil for 6 to 7 minutes.

Ladle out about 1 cup (250 ml) of the pasta cooking water and set aside.

Drain pasta and pour back into the pot that you cooked the pasta in.

Ladle in the pasta water and some of the tomato sauce to cover the pasta.
Let simmer another 3 to 4 minutes, while stirring.

Divide between two warm pasta bowls, add a little more sauce and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. 
Garnish with basil and sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Serves 2




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