Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
The recipe for the make-ahead tomato sauce came from a Neapolitan farmer. He readies it before dawn to "cook" before heading out to the fields; throughout the day, the flavors of the garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, and basil all meld together.
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 6 medium tomatoes
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- Coarse salt
- 1 pound pasta (fusilli or spaghetti)
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
Make chile oil: Stir together 1/2 cup oil and 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes. Let stand at room temperature at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
Make sauce: Core tomatoes and tear into bite-size pieces directly into a serving bowl. Add garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, the oregano, basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and remaining 1/2 cup oil. Lightly crush together using a wooden spoon. Let stand at room temperature 1 to 8 hours.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt to taste. Add pasta; cook until al dente. Drain. Add hot pasta to tomato mixture. Discard garlic cloves. Serve with Parmesan cheese for grating and with the chile oil for drizzling.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, September 2005