CLASSIC pasta spaghetti with a spicy, simple tomato sauce (Roman)








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Here is another Roman recipe -- meaning simple, simple and authentic. And it is said, properly, that Roman food makes a strong statement. This does.

for the sauce:

  • four tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • three medium cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • two carrots, finely chopped
  • one medium onion, finely chopped
  • one fresh red pepper, seeded and minced (about one tablespoon)
  • one 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, whole
  • one cup grated fresh pecorino Romano
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

for the pasta:

  • one pound of spaghetti alla chitarra (hopefully) or high quality spaghetti (or penne)

Put the oil in a medium-sized sauté pan, over medium heat. Add the garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the carrots, celery and onion and cook on a medium heat for four minutes. Stir in the chile and cook for another ten minutes,

Roughly chop the tomatoes and add then to the sauce along with their juices. Work the tomatoes with a wooden spoon to smash them as much as possible. Stir, Add teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Bring to a steady simmer and simmer on a very low heat, uncovered, for about one and one-half hours. Check for salt. Set aside.

We also recommend putting your serving plates in the oven to warm them.

Meanwhile, bring 4-5 quarts of cold water to a raging boil. Add two tablespoons of salt. Drop in the pasta and stir. Cook until al dente. Drain, saving four tablespoons of the water.

Add the pasta and half the pecorino to the reheated sauce, add the reserved liquid, and toss well. We then cover the pan and cook for about one minute over a high heat: this gets the dish really hot and steaming. Serve immediately on the warmed plates, with some more pecorino on the side.


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