Friday, August 3, 2012

Julia's At It Again...

Julia's "In a Pinch" Pasta Sauce
Serves 4

·      Whole wheat or regular angel hair pasta – cooked more on the al dente side

Ingredients for the sauce: 
·      1 large can of good quality chopped tomatoes
·      1 stalk of celery, chopped fine
·      1 medium onion, chopped fine
·      2 cloves of garlic (I swear by farmers market garlic), chopped fine
·      ½ a cup of basil, chopped for sauce
·      3-4 sprigs of fresh oregano, roughly chopped
·      Dash of sugar
·      Small Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
·      Salt and pepper to taste
·      2-3 Tbs. of Olive Oil

To top the pasta:
·      Fresh bocconcini mozzarella (Bocconcini are small balls of mozzarella, but any  
       mozzarella will do)
·      Grated Parmesan
·      Extra Basil, roughly chopped

1. In a sauté pan, sweat the onions, garlic, and celery in the olive oil until translucent – add the pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and then let sit for 1 minute or so, until the pan is pretty hot. I like to add the seasoning at this point because it ends up giving the sauce more flavor because the oil and onions take on the flavors and disperse them through the sauce more evenly.

2. Add the can of tomatoes and let simmer uncovered on medium/low heat, stirring every so often when you see the sauce start to bubble.  I did this for 45 min or so until it looked pretty thick.

3. Add the fresh basil, oregano and the dash of sugar. The sugar helps tone down that metallic taste that canned tomatoes sometimes have. Sauté for another 15 mins.

4. Turn the sauce off and let sit for 20 minutes to cool down before tasting it to see if it requires any further spicing.

5. While waiting for the sauce to cool, boil your pasta with a little salt, cooking until a little al dente, because you’re going to reheat the sauce with the noodles and you don’t want the pasta to become overcooked.

6. Cut your bocconcini mozzarella into halves, grate your Parmesan and chop your extra basil.

7. When the noodles are ready, drain them, leaving a tiny bit of the pasta water in the bottom of your pot. Turn the heat back on and spoon the sauce into the pasta pan until a good sauce-to-noodle ratio is met. Stir the pasta and sauce together and let the flavors "fuse" together in the pot for a couple of minutes. Once the sauce and noodles are both reheated, serve onto plates and then top with the mozzarella, fresh basil and Parmesan on top. 

Voila! Super easy, super delicious! Enjoy!

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