Yes, I love spaghetti al pomodoro, but who doesn’t? In fact, I love red sauce in general. Growing up Italian-American, the process of making red tomato sauce, or gravy, always seemed like an event. The pot sat on the stove for what seemed like an eternity filled with sausage and meatballs until it was ready. Yes, the perk is you have enough sauce to last a few days, but the downside: it just seemed like such a toil. So, for years, I avoided any kind of red sauce unless I was dining out or someone else had cooked it for me.
Then, a few years ago, I found this spaghetti al pomodoro recipe on Bon Appetit, and it changed my life – I can make a red sauce in well under an hour? I know, I know. I should have realized this much sooner, but it was never something I thought to question because red sauce, to me, was always something that cooked for hours. And not only does the sauce come together relatively quickly – it’s absolutely delightful.
In addition to the reduced cooking time, this sauce is also one of the dishes I’ve cooked where I actually got to, as cheesy as this sounds, experience the “magic” of cooking firsthand. The flavors fuse together beautifully, the onion, garlic, and oil tempering the jammy sweetness, vibrant acidity and delicate umami of the tomato sauce. Then soaking the basil in the sauce until the
The secret of adding butter wasn’t 100% new to me, it’s something I learned from Scott Conant (whose spaghetti with tomato and basil is epic, btw). And I agree, stirring it into the spaghetti and sauce at the end. It adds a velvety touch to the tomato sauce, which melds with the silkiness of the spaghetti for one of the most comforting and gratifying home-cooked meals. To add some extra oomph, I like to complete each plate with a blob of burrata or a generous dollop of stracciatella.
And the last reason I love this recipe? It calls for a Dutch oven! Though one word to the wise: never underestimate the “splashability” of tomato sauce.