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pasta with tomato sauce (recipe)
16-DEC-2004

pasta with tomato sauce (recipe)

Simple cooking doesn't get much better than this.

If you don't already, visit a real Italian market and pay the extra buck for imported Italian (San Marzano) canned (peeled whole) tomatoes.
The difference in flavor compared to usual supermarket canned tomatoes is astonishing.

The imported tomatoes have a sort of "zing" and freshness to the flavor that just isn't present in the cheaper domestic brands.
The different brands also have quite different flavor, so experiment until you find your favorite.

Heat tomatoes with two peeled whole (or optionally sliced, for more intense garlic flavor, but don't crush) garlic cloves,
1 tsp dried basil, 2 TB olive oil. Mash tomatoes with potato masher (best) or side of spoon.
Season with salt and pepper, simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or so.
(A 28 oz can of tomatoes is perfect for 1 lb of pasta.)

Do NOT put oil in the pasta water! Just use a large pot and plenty of salted (half a fistful of kosher salt) water,
and be patient, it will take awhile to boil. If too little water is used, pasta will stick together. Oil will prevent this,
but there is a reason not to use oil (see below).

As for pasta, rotini (shown) or large rigatoni (favorite) work best.
The green in the photo is a sprig of rau ram (Vietnamese cilantro) that adds a nice flavor note. Optional.

Sequence: start heating pasta water, cook sauce, cook pasta to very al dente,
put optional rau ram in bowl, add drained pasta, stir in all of the sauce.
The pasta will continue to soften as it absorbs the sauce. Serve immediately.

(If oil is added to the pasta water, the pasta won't absorb the sauce...)
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Konica-Minolta DiMAGE G600
1/80s f/4.5 at 20.6mm iso50 with Flash full exif

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robert joyon20-Mar-2009 09:08
Lucky man...
For me, a lot of vegetables are from my garden as well all herbs.
It is impossible to match when tomatoes are dark red and ready to go in your kitchen :)
But I know you understand my answer.
All the best...
lebororo