Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce is the first dish I learned to cook while living in Italy. The Italian recipes I share are the ones from my many months living in Broni, Italy.
About the Roma’s: they must be ripe, if you slice them open and they are not a nice red then the flavor will be affected. The riper the Roma the more tomato flavor your sauce will have. For the best sauce, peel and de-seed the tomatoes, the purpose is a peeled tomato will provide for a creamier fresh sauce. Also, removing the seeds from the tomatoes will avoid any bitter flavor. An easy way to peel the Roma tomatoes is by dropping them in boiling water for about a minute, remove with a slotted spoon, cool slightly then pull the skins off.
If you are short on time then you can skip the peel and de-seed, however, I recommend at some point you try the above to determine for yourself if the extra 5 -10 minutes is worth it.
A bit about Basil: I shred and add half of the basil while simmering the tomatoes and the last half is shred and tossed on top of the sauce. If you are short on time you can use the frozen basil available from Trader Joe's. Just don’t add the frozen at the last minute because well, it won’t cook properly.
Garlic: Easy peel your garlic by cutting off one tip and microwaving for a few seconds. This loosens the peel and the clove will pop out nicely. Watch the garlic in the pan, don’t let the garlic overcook and turn brown.The Best Pasta For the pasta, please do not rinse, the starch remaining on the spaghetti after draining helps the sauce adhere to the spaghetti noodles. Also, don’t overcook the spaghetti.
Olive Oil: Use a good extra virgin olive oil but nothing too expensive.
Cooking the Spaghetti
While I prepare my sauce ingredients I have a large stockpot of boiling water at the ready. After the sauce is simmering on the stove, I’ll drop in the spaghetti and put my timer on for 10 minutes or the time indicated on the package. Bring the spaghetti to boil while stirring occasionally, then after about 2 minutes cover the pot (don’t uncover until the timer minutes are up) and remove from burner, let sit until the timer goes off then check your spaghetti for doneness. If it needs a little more time, simply recover and let sit for another minute or until the spaghetti is cooked to your taste.
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