Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sauceless spaghetti sauce

One summer evening, I was in the mood for a nice light pasta, similar to Amatriciana, but using what I could find in the kitchen. This was the result of that serendipity of culinary flotsam and jetsam, and I've made it several times since. Sometimes it gets tweaked yet again, depending on what I have on hand. You could even add a dash of cream or half and half to make a pink sauce. Yum!

a smashed garlic clove or two
olive oil
sliced onion - maybe half a cup's worth
red pepper flakes
cherry tomatoes - maybe two cup's worth
basil if you have it
Parmesan (or another dry cheese for pasta toppin') (or goat cheese, but I put goat cheese in any recipe that holds still long enough for me to do so. . . . )

Glug some oil into a sautee pan, maybe a tablespoon or so and turn the heat up to medium. Add the garlic clove and the onion once the oil is hot and sautee until soft, or until the onions start to caramelize, depending on your preference (remove the garlic once it starts to brown so it doesn't get bitter!) Once the onions are ready, drop in a pinch of red pepper flakes (again, to taste), and your tomatoes. If they're bigger guys, you can cut them first, but you don't have to.
Continue cooking, adjusting heat as necessary, adding more oil if necessary. The tomatoes will give up their juice and get squishy and start to meld with the other flavors; once they begin to do so, throw in some basil if you've got it - I recommend fresh here though rather than dried as this is not a slow cooked sauce.
Once it looks like something I think will work as a sauce, I dump in some cooked and drained pasta and stir it around (*tip - a little of the pasta cooking water can help add to the sauciness of it if need be). Plate it and finish it off with plenty of fresh parmesan or parmiggiano-reggiano and eat it up!

I really need to come up with a more clever name for this yummy dish. I'm open to suggestions if anyone ever reads this.

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