I feel a little ashamed posting two spaghetti recipes back-to-back. But, I’ve got neither the time to blog nor the time to cook lately to provide me with an alternative. Today marks the third morning I’ve woken up in our new house. After packing my kitchen up completely over a week ago, I have been jonesing to get back in a kitchen and make something. Anything, really. So, on Monday I set to unpacking our living room and kitchen first off. I may still be pulling my clothes out of boxes, but I am going to have my pots and pans! The challenge after unpacking then became groceries. I had donated all my non-perishable food to the Athens Area Emergency Food Bank before I moved, and I brought only my spice collection with me. Upon arrival, I discovered that we have one grocery store in town, a small Food Lion, so I will be traveling 20-30 miles every week to get my shopping done. Meanwhile, The Hubz was requesting spaghetti for dinner. This was a meal I felt confident our little grocery could deliver.
Now, spaghetti can be sauced with a million things, but I like classic, tomatoey red sauce when I crave “spaghetti.” And, to this end, I prefer canned tomatoes. If you choose the right ones, you’ll end up with a sauce that’s perfectly thick and “smooth-enough” for the standards outlined in Mark Bittman’s article. I like to use crushed tomatoes– they require zero effort, and they make a perfect sauce. As usual, this sauce comes together very simply, and it doesn’t require a lot of work. It’s tomatoey, garlicky, and has just a touch of zing. It will keep in the refrigerator, should you have leftovers, for three days. It will freeze, as well. The recipe makes enough sauce to dress one pound of pasta.
Easy, Classic Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 lbs spaghetti, cooked according to package directions (use gluten free pasta to make recipe gluten free)
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 C chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- fat pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- pinch of sugar
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 T fresh basil, chiffonade
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
While waiting for your pasta water to boil, heat a a big splash (a couple of tablespoons) of olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion, and lower the heat. Sprinkle salt over the onions to keep them from sticking to the pan. Sweat the onion for 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and the red pepper flakes and saute for a minute. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Pour in the tomato sauce, and add the oregano and the sugar. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Stir to combine well. Lower the heat to simmer the sauce while your spaghetti cooks. Simmer, stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings to your favor. When pasta is cooked al dente, drain it and place it in a serving dish. Pour the sauce over the spaghetti and garnish with the fresh basil.