Pasta al Sugo / Pasta with Tomato Sauce
This is a traditional recipe from Italy and there are many variations of this method. In this recipe I've used shop bought spaghetti but the typical Tuscan type is called pici pasta using semolina, flour and water. A simple and fresher tomato sauce can be made in the summer when good fresh tomatoes are in the market. This is the classic sauce for spaghetti. Anna Del Conte
- 1 medium-sized white onion, very finely chopped
- 1 medium-sized carrot, very finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, very finely chopped
- 4 tbsp good olive oil for cooking
- 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
- 2x400g (260g drained weight) Italian canned peeled plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- A handful of flat leaf parsley, stems removed and chopped finely
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1tsp sugar
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 500g bucatini or spaghetti pasta
- freshly grated vegetarian pecorino cheese to serve
- Slowly saute the onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil until well softened (at least 10 minutes). Stir frequently. Add the garlic just a few minutes before you finish the soffritto (sauteed mixture) and stir to mix thoroughly.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, the herbs, sugar and season lightly with salt and pepper and stir.
- Allow to simmer gently, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, until the oil begins to separate out into small drops around the edge and the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally to prevent the sauce sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf. Push the sauce through the coarsest disc of a mouli legume or blitz it for a few seconds in a food processor- or leave it as it is. Spoon the sauce back into the saucepan and keep it hot while you cook the pasta.
- Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well and toss with the sauce. Stir in the grated pecorino cheese and serve at once. Hand round a bowl of freshly grated pecorino on the side.