Recently I put up a few pints of Marinara sauce, and in the past I’ve made rich dark “gravy” thick with meat that sat burbling for hours on a cold winter day. I love the rich dark silky sauce and I will never tire of it.
However, this is the time of being flush with tomatoes. With more than I can eat on salads, have time to can, or find any victims to take them off my hands, I am looking for quick ways to use them up.
As opposed to the patient and sophisticated deep bass notes of a long simmered sauce, this sauce is brassy, loud and fresh as nineteen-year-old sailor on his first shore leave.
Add a handful of pungent basil fresh from the garden, a sprig of oregano and a couple cloves of garlic roughly chopped and you have the makings of a quickly prepared, brightly flavored weeknight meal.
No careful measuring here, this is cooking by the seat of your pants, Pinot Noir in a coffee cup, roll up your sleeves, put Sinatra on the music player. Add a salad and enjoy!
Quick Tomato Sauce and Pappardelle
1lb ripe tomatoes cored and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed then chopped
1 ripe jalapeno minced (optional)
Pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
1 handful fresh basil leaves – about a dozen – shredded or chiffonade
1 sprig fresh oregano
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Big pinch salt
¼ cup gated parmesan divided
½ cup + of cooking water
Salt and pepper to taste
½ lb dried long pasta – I prefer Tagliatelle or Pappardelle
- Prepare pasta according to directions
- In a large saucepan over medium high heat, add the olive oil and heat until shimmering
- Add the chopped tomatoes, (jalapeno and red pepper) and toss to coat with oil, add big pinch of salt
- Cook, stirring often until tomatoes soften – about 3-5 minutes
- Add garlic, basil and oregano, stir and turn heat down to medium
- Continue cooking and stirring often until sauce starts to thicken, reduce heat to medium low
- Test for seasoning, adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- When pasta is just about cooked remove from cooking water and add to tomato mixture. Add ½ + cup of cooking water (add more or less according to how much liquid you want) and combine, tossing until pasta is done.
While water comes to a boil and pasta cooks…
Put sauced pasta in a bowl, top with parmesan, enjoy!