17 June 2013

spaghetti al pomodoro: simple and good, every single time

A couple of years ago we were on a ski trip with a rather large group of friends when the task of preparing dinner for the children was passed along to us one evening. I clearly remember the chuckle and the glance Richard and I shared as one of the other fathers proceeded to tell us how to prepare a spaghetti dinner for ten children. A father of three in a family that is always on the move, he considered us lightweights in large group meal preparation with our only child as our only experience...that and his sons are bottomless.  He began, "Get a few jars of spaghetti sauce from the commissary," and I let him continue before assuring him that we had it under control.

I don't remember exactly what Richard prepared that evening, but I can assure you that it did not begin with a can or jar of spaghetti sauce from any store. It's so easy to make a simple sauce with either fresh tomatoes or a can of good tomatoes.

Following is a series of images of one of his quick and easy pasta sauces: Spaghetti al Pomodoro.  Likely he learned it from some woman or another from Southern Italy. I didn't ask. 

Cover the bottom of a heavy pot with extra virgin olive oil and sautee a bit of garlic before adding the can of tomatoes.

Break up the tomatoes. A potato masher works nicely, but you can achieve it with a wooden spoon as well. Add a bit of fresh basil and just let it cook for a bit before tossing with pasta al dente. You can add a bit of salt if needed.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A Can of Good Peeled Plum Tomatoes (We like the Cirio brand best; if you can't find it, then look for San Marzano variety of tomatoes. The tomatoes are key to this recipe.)
Fresh Basil
Pasta (Cooked al Dente)

This is so simple and so good. Trust me.
Hungry yet?


  1. bam! and here we were thinking sicilian ladies never used canned tomatoes ;) bet kids were super happy!

  2. You can't get that good in a jar!

  3. Nothing beats a simple tomato sauce, and it's so quick and easy! Now I'm hungry...

  4. Manca il formaggio! :)