Pasta al pomodoro: easy pasta recipes for everyone!

Pasta al pomodoro: easy pasta recipes for everyone (but don’t spoil it please)!

pasta al pomodoro

Here is an Italian cooking lesson for real beginners and for all the ones who started off with the wrong foot…I don’t intend to sound harsh but some pasta cookers around the world are really messing it up, so it is always good to refresh the basis.

We’ll propose here one of the easiest pasta recipes ever: pasta al pomodoro! It is also one of the most common dishes you will find in touristic restaurants and sometimes not of the best quality. So don’t be fooled: have a real taste of pasta al pomodoro in Florence, Italy, next time you are around!

 

Before getting started let’s repeat some important rules of pasta cooking:

  1. Pasta has to be added to water only after it has started boiling

  2. Never overcook the pasta!!!! Or if you do, don’t call it pasta.

  3. Italians join pasta and sauce in a pan and “jump it” (saltare) for some minutes before serving (will come back to this later)

 

Ingredients for 4 people

  • Some leaves of fresh basil

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes, or 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 480 g dried wholewheat spaghetti ( good quality, if possible)

  • 15 g Parmesan cheese

  • Salt, pepper and a tiny pinch of sugar

Ingredients pasta al pomodoro

Start with peeling and slicing the garlic. Chop the tomatoes if you are using fresh ones. I suggest to choose this option only if you can get good quality organic tomatoes, otherwise just go for the tinned ones. Put a saucepan on a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic, then cook until soft and lightly golden. Add few leaves of basil and the tomatoes and start to stir. Add a bit of salt and pepper and a tiny pinch of sugar, then continue stirring for around 15 minutes. Meanwhile fill a large pot with water and put it on high heat and let it boil. Alternatively, boil some water with the boiler and then fill the pot (which is an option Italians do not even think of, but makes lots of sense). Add some salt to the boiling water and then add spaghetti and cook according to packet instructions or even a minute less: “al dente”. Literally this expression translates as to the tooth and means cooking the pasta just a little bit less than what you are supposed to so that it remains firm. Anyhow, it is always a good idea to try some. No other methods are allowed. Once the pasta is done, drain in a colander over the sink and tip the spaghetti back into the pot. Stir the spaghetti into the sauce, adding a splash of the pasta water to loosen, if needed. Serve with some fresh basil leaves sprinkled over the top and put a bowl of some grated Parmesan cheese on the table , in case some of your guests want to add some.

Easy pasta recipe

As I said, very easy pasta recipe… but very easy to spoil. Try following these instructions one by one and let me know how it tastes! We’ll be glad to invite you for a pasta taste in Florence at the wonderful traditional and yet contemporary Mercato Centrale!

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