This Italian staple tastes rich and delicious but only takes about 30 minutes to prepare.
November 19, 2009
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Tomato Sauce from Scratch
This Italian staple uses flavorful plum tomatoes, which are easy to find year round. We tossed the sauce with spaghetti but you can easily substitute with your favorite noodle. Finish the dish with a little Parmigiano-Reggiano for an easy crowd pleaser.
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Step 1: Score
Big-flavored tomatoes translate to a robust and rich sauce. We like the plum variety because they taste great year round. During tomato season you can easily substitute other varieties -- just be sure they’re ripe. See tomatoes 101.
To get started, bring a pot of water to a boil in preparation for step 3 (blanching). While you’re waiting for the water to boil, cut a 1-inch X in the bottom of the tomatoes. This will make their skins easier to remove.
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Step 2: Blanch
After boiling tomatoes for 30 seconds to one minute, quickly remove each with a slotted spoon. Plunge tomatoes in a bowl of ice water for one minute to stop the cooking process.
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Step 3: Peel and Chop
Remove the tomatoes from the water, and peel back the flaps from the X; the skin will be easy to remove. You can also use this method for peeling stone fruits like peaches and plums.
Finely chop the tomatoes reserving all the juices.
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Step 4: Sauté Garlic
Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook just until it begins to brown lightly, taking care not to burn it.
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Step 5: Combine
Add the tomatoes and reserved juices, and cook until almost all the liquid evaporates. Finish cooking the pasta with the sauce in a skillet large enough to combine the two and allow for tossing. Add enough of the pasta cooking water to the sauce to give the dish a creamy texture and marry the sauce to the pasta.
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Own the Cookbook!
For other classic how-to instructions, check out the Cooking Light Way to Cook, which offers easy step-by-step guides to basic cooking techniques. Our most beautiful book yet, it makes a great gift or a useful addition to your own collection.