Pasta al Pomodoro… In my opinion, this is one of the best comfort foods of ALL time. This dish is so simple, but utterly divine when made properly. And I use the word “properly” because I have to admit, I never knew how good this could taste before I met my husband and he made his version for me.
I know everyone has their own recipe for a pomodoro sauce and I’m sure every Italian mama has their own secrets and family recipe, but I have to be honest with you, my husband’s version is pretty damn good.
My husband always emphasizes 2 main points for this dish: (1) make sure you cook the onions slowly to ensure they are sweet once cooked through and (2) the “marriage” of the pasta and sauce is the most important finish to the dish.
I also love this dish because we always have the necessary ingredients on hand and it’s usually our “go-to” dinner when we have come back from a weekend away and there’s nothing else in the fridge, which is often!
INGREDIENTS: (serves 4-5)
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 anchovy filets (optional)
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 cup of dry white wine (120ml, I usually use the Prosecco that I’m already drinking while cooking)
Pinch of sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
1 large can of whole or diced San Marzano tomatoes (28 oz. / 800g)
1 package (1 lb. / 500g) of Spaghetti, Linguini or any pasta of your choice
Salt for pasta
Fresh basil leaves or chopped Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish
- In a deep saute pan, heat a generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil (should coat the entire pan) on medium high and add the diced onions. Slowly cook the onions between medium and medium-high heat until they are transluscent. The key is to slowly cook the onions so they become sweet.
- Keep the heat on medium to medium-high and add in the garlic and the anchovy filets, which are optional. The anchovies will add umami to the sauce, but you won’t taste the actual anchovy taste at the end. The sauce will also taste great without them. Saute for about 1-2 minutes and stir frequently to prevent the garlic from burning and becoming bitter.
- Add the dry white wine and let it come to a boil for a minute or so.
- Add in the can of tomatoes and sprigs of rosemary. If you are using whole tomatoes, crush them with a spoon to break them apart.
- Add a pinch of sugar to the sauce, salt and pepper to taste and keep at a simmer to allow the sauce to reduce (20-25 minutes).
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot for the pasta. When the water comes to a boil, generously add salt (should taste like the sea) and add the pasta. Cook to al dente or even 1-2 minutes short of the cooking time on package.
- Remove rosemary sprigs from the sauce and when the olive oil starts to coat the perimeter of the pan, your sauce is ready and remove the pan from heat.
- Drain the pasta and reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
- Add the reserved pasta water and pasta to the sauce. Mix well and make sure there is a “marriage” between the pasta and the sauce.
- Add a generous handful of grated Parmigiano to the pasta and a drizzle of good olive oil and mix.
- Serve and garnish with more freshly grated Parmigiano, freshly-cracked black pepper, a pinch of Fleur de Sel, and a fresh basil leaves or flat-leaf parsley.