Ah, Spaghetti Marinara. Is there not a more classic recipe in modern Italian-American cuisine? Yet more often than not people fuck this recipe up. The key to this recipe (and all pasta recipes for that matter) is in the final two steps that are so often skipped. The first of these steps is to make sure you pull the pasta out of the boiling water BEFORE it is finished cooking. The second is to finish cooking the pasta IN THE SAUCE along with the addition of a little pasta water. These two final steps ensure your pasta is al dente (because if your pasta is overcooked than we cannot be friends) and most importantly ensures you have what I like to call "The Starch Dance". The Starch Dance refers to the transfer of sauce into the starch (in this case, the Spaghetti) and the transfer of loose starch from the pasta water into the sauce. The swapping of starch between pasta and sauce transforms the dish from "spaghetti swimming in tomato water" into the indulgent masterpiece it deserves to be. Capisce?
1 stalk of celery
6 cloves of garlic
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 can of San Marzano whole tomatoes
¼ can of water
1 lb. spaghetti
Fresh Basil (whole and chopped)
Freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
Chop onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Place your pot over medium high heat. Add extra virgin olive oil to preheated pot. Add veggies into hot oil and stir. Cover pan and cook for 5 minutes.
Uncover pot and add 1 can of San Marzano tomatoes. Fill tomato can ¼ of the way with water and add to pot. Stir over high heat for about 10-15 mins, breaking up tomatoes with your spoon. Lower heat and cook until sauce thickens. Stir in fresh basil.
Serve over al dente spaghetti. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and chopped basil.
Italian grandmothers will tell you… Wooden spoons work the BEST! When buying tomatoes make sure to buy San Marzano tomatoes, not San Marzano style.
Did you know
Al dente literally means “of the tooth” in Italian and refers to firm pasta. There’s nothing worse than overcooked pasta.