To tell you the truth, I am not a huge fan of pasta. Not that I don’t like it, but it just doesn’t excite me. Growing up, I made pasta when I had nothing else to eat. I agree, I can’t compare that to a great restaurant-quality product, but I can’t change my way of thinking about it.
This recipe comes from May 2011 issue of BA magazine. That issue was all about pasta, and this recipe was on the cover. A close caption of spaghetti in red sauce in a white bowl, and yet there was something about it that I felt compelled to make it. So far, this has been my favorite, favorite pasta recipe!
Recipe found in Bon Appetit magazine, May 2011
Makes 4 servings
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (28 oz) can peeled tomatoes, puréed in a food processor
- Kosher salt
- 3 large fresh basil sprigs
- 12 oz bucatini or spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons cubed unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino
Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-low heat. Add minced onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-4 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute more. Increase heat to medium, add puréed tomatoes and season lightly with kosher salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in basil sprigs, and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add spaghetti or bucatini and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
Discard basil (better yet, eat it!) and heat skillet over high heat. Stir in 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. Remove pan from heat; add butter and cheese; toss until cheese melts. Transfer to warm bowls; serve with more cheese, if desired.