Thursday, August 22, 2013

Heirloom Tomato Pasta Pomodoro

I've always loved the light, clean taste of pomodoro sauce. It's much brighter than a traditional marinara sauce, and doesn't require all day cooking to get a rich flavor. Since there was a pile of tomatoes from the CSA slowly over-ripening on the counter, it seemed like the perfect time to try my hand at a favorite.


  • Two cups diced tomatoes, preferably local. Canned tomatoes just don't taste the same! Reserve all the liquid, pulp, and seeds; they're actually where most of the flavor is, and the liquids form the majority of the sauce. 
  • 1/4 lb. spaghetti or cappellini
  • About 5 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp. EVOO
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste (I used about 1/8 tsp. because I'm weak when it comes to spice!)

This recipe would comfortably serve 2 very hungry people, or 3 people with no leftovers remaining. Adjust amounts accordingly. 

  1. Get your pasta water boiling. Use less water than you normally would; you'll use some of the extra starchy water to augment the sauce. Salt the water; it's the only added salt you'll need. 
  2. Heat EVOO till shimmering, then immediately turn the heat to low and add the garlic. Don't let it brown at all, just let it soften. This will retain a mellow flavor so it won't overwhelm the brightness of the tomatoes. 
  3. Add all of the tomatoes, liquid, pulp, and seeds. Raise the heat and get it bubbling. 
  4. Start cooking the pasta. 7 minutes should do it. 
  5. Add your basil, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to the pan. Keep letting it reduce. 
  6. When the pasta is done, drain it but reserve about a quarter cup of the liquid, and toss it all into your pan. 
  7. Swirl in the butter - the added fat helps everything stick to the pasta. 
  8. Cook the sauce down for a few more minutes over medium heat. 
Now just pour a glass of wine, grate some parmesan for those who like it, and get eating! 

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