Thursday, August 22, 2013

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

So I had touched on this, my favorite way of making tomato sauce about a month ago, but it was just one component of a larger recipe and now that fresh tomatoes are in hand, I thought it was time to give this simple yet delicious recipe its own spotlight. Once fresh summer tomatoes are in abundance, this sauce will make weekly appearances at our table. 

Plum tomatoes are ideal for this recipe with their strong flavor that is just a bit on the sweet side, but just about any fresh tomato will work. I've used everything from beefsteak to cherry with good results, and each type of tomato will bring its own unique flavor to the sauce. Otherwise I try to keep ingredients to a minimum. Onion, basil and garlic are always in there because after all, they are tomato sauce's best friends. Red pepper flakes will add a nice bit of spice to the mix, but in the end you want the tomato to shine through so I would not stray too far from the ingredient ratios I have here if you decide to experiment.

Share Contents Used

2 tbs olive oil
2 lb fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)

1 tbs fresh basil, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 lb spaghetti

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Take the tomatoes and cut a shallow cross through the skin on the bottom, then place in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from the water and immediately place in a bowl of ice water to cool for 2-3 minutes. Remove the tomato from the cold water, peel off and discard the skin by grabbing the edges of the cross you cut on the bottom. Coarsely chop the peeled tomatoes, discarding the bit of core where the stem used to be. Return the pot of water to a boil then add the spaghetti and cook per package directions until its al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat then add the onion and cook until it starts to get soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Add the chopped tomato to the pan  and cook, stirring occasionally until the tomato has started to break down and form a sauce, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan with the sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately with lots of grated Parmesan cheese.

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