I have a pretty big family. When we gather together we end up with 8 – 12 people. It’s a lot of mouths to feed. Cooking with my family is one of my favorite things in life. We drink wine, play music, joke around, my parent’s dogs get in the way, my brother and sister bicker over proper cooking techniques, and of course we nibble at the food before it’s ready. =)
Recently the whole family met up in Richmond, VA for Mother’s day and my sister, Rachel, took on the responsibility of choosing what to make for dinner. She ended up deciding on spaghetti with some of the most delicious tomato sauce I’ve ever had. It was a crowd pleaser. I’m super excited to share Rachel’s recipe with you guys!
Oh, and if you missed the post in which I introduced my sister you can read it here. Rachel will be the creator of the recipes featured on this blog from now on. I will simply be photographing them.
Take it away Rachel…
“This simple tomato sauce has helped me out of a jam more than once. It has become my go-to on nights when I’ve found myself feeding a larger dinner party with a sparsely stocked pantry. I use to be hesitant about making a pasta sauce for a crowd, just seemed a like bit of a snoozer. But, here’s the thing, each time I’ve made this sauce, guests have asked me for recipe or even lobbied for a doggybag to take home. I guess its not a surprise. Warm bowls of pasta tossed with quality olive oil topped with a homemade sauce and fresh herbs is sublimely comforting. Plus, it highlights the herbs that are available in early and late spring (parsley and basil are great but, feel free to use whatever is on hand). And, with tomato season looming, this recipe is going to be super handy. Just swap out the canned tomatoes for fresh. This is as easy to make as it is to love and very flexible. Feel free to add more crushed pepper if you like the heat o0r more garlic, if you like. Add in the herbs you like, omit those you don’t. Of course, salt and pepper to taste.” -Rachel
Simple Tomato Sauce with Fresh Herbs
Adapted from: In the Green Kitchen, Techniques to Learn by Heart, Alice Waters
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6-8 large cloves of garlic, diced
- 2 cans of diced or whole tomatoes, 28 ounces
- A pinch of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup of basil ribbons
- Pasta, dried or fresh – your choice
- Kosher salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
Place the olive oil and garlic in a heavy bottomed pot on a medium-low heat. Once the garlic is soft and aromatic (about 5 minutes), add the tomatoes, sugar, red pepper and let the mixture simmer on low heat for 25 minutes. For a smoother sauce, break up whole tomatoes with a fork or immersion blender for desired consistency. Cook the al dente pasta according to the directions, reserving some of the pasta cooking water before draining. You can do this easily with a coffee mug or measuring cup. Transfer the drained pasta a large bowl, add just enough pasta water to create a light sheen on the noodles (a couple of tablespoons or so). Toss once more to add kosher salt and cracked pepper. Portion the pasta into bowls, ladle on the sauce, drizzle with quality olive oil, garnish with the fresh herbs and salt.
Depending on portion size, serves 6 – 8 adults.