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LivingFood and DrinkPasta al Pomodoro

Pasta al Pomodoro

by Susan Hanna

This recipe from NYT Cooking is simple but yields outstanding results. Cook garlic in oil for a few minutes and remove. Add chopped tomatoes and simmer for about 40 minutes. Strain the sauce to remove the skins and seeds. Return the strained sauce to the pan and add cooked spaghetti. Cook for about 2 minutes and then remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce. Cook’s note: Use the freshest and ripest tomatoes you can find. You can finish the dish with freshly grated Parmesan and/or chopped fresh basil, but it’s delicious on its own.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

This recipe’s ingredients are all additive-free. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.


½ cup (125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

4 large garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled

3 pounds (1.36 kg) ripe tomatoes (any mix of plum, field, heirloom, grape or cherry), coarsely chopped


1 pound (454 g) thin spaghetti


Add the olive oil and garlic to a large Dutch oven or high-sided skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook the garlic, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly golden, and small rapid bubbles form around the cloves, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pot and discard (or eat).

Carefully and gently lower the chopped tomatoes into the hot oil and cook, stirring constantly, until the tomatoes let off some liquid and the sauce starts to bubble steadily. Season generously with salt. Lower the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the sauce reduces significantly, about 40 minutes.

Set a metal sieve, strainer or food mill over a medium bowl. Carefully pour in the tomato sauce. If using a sieve or strainer, push the sauce through with a spoon or flexible spatula, until all that remains are seeds and skins. Be sure to repeatedly scrape off the valuable pulp collecting on the bottom of the sieve (by holding the sieve down against the edge of the bowl and pulling it back). You should have about 2 cups (500 ml) of sauce in the bowl. Taste and add more salt, if needed, then return the sauce to the Dutch oven.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce.

Turn the heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce reduces slightly and the pasta is well coated but not drowned in the sauce, about 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit so the pasta can absorb the sauce further, about 5 more minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking




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