Oh, I have so many many things to say about this innocent looking plate of pasta with tomato sauce, so hunker down with me for a little while.
First of all, I got it from the latest edition of the magazine Bon Appetit. Now, I am a long-time friend of Bon Appetit. I was with them back in the good old days, when they published more fabulous recipes than I could keep up with. Then…as sometimes happens with long-term relationships, things got rocky. (Note to Southern husband: I’m not talking about you, honey. You are still the peas to my carrots and you always will be.) Bon Appetit on the other hand…well, they got a little too fancy for a home cook like me. I let my subscription lapse. And then…there was a new editor-in-chief in town, and this May the new Bon Appetit launched, with this pasta dish on the cover. And folks, I’m once again hooked…there are probably 10 different recipes from this issue that have migrated to the top of my “to-make” pile. But what really sucked me in was their “Pasta Manifesto” – all the things you need to know to make perfect pasta.
Well, okay! There’s nothing that gets my attention like an article that suggests..with real, actual, concrete advice…that pasta can be made better. So I jumped in with this recipe that claimed to be the silkiest pasta sauce ever. And you know what? It was. The Southern husband actually decided that “silky” wasn’t a good enough adjective for the wonderfulness…that it really should be called “Velvet Pasta.” Comments like that on an ordinary Monday night are when you know you have a hit on your hands.
The basics of this one are: you need to really salt the water before you add the pasta. We aren’t using enough salt in the water, people! You need to undercook the pasta a little, and then finish cooking it IN THE SAUCE. It makes total sense if you think about it. There are a few other things about using some of the salty pasta water to thin the sauce, and adding a little butter at the end, and a few others that added up to a simple tomato sauce with pasta that was, well…velvet.
So what have I learned?
Salt the water. Really salt it. No fear.
2. Finish cooking the pasta for the last two minutes in the sauce. I’m never going back.
3. Have faith that your favorite magazine/television show/etc. will come to its senses and get better. Between Bon Appetit and this season’s American Idol, I’m beginning to think anything is possible.
4. If you think your first shot isn’t working, ignore your ravenous family, dump it on a new plate, take it outside and photograph it again. Pasta reheats just fine.
I think my work is done here. :)
Pasta al Pomodoro, from the fabulous new Bon Appetit
Hi there! I’m Kate, and I’m a recipe writer, food photographer and devoted bacon lover. I started Framed Cooks in 2009, and my mission is to create and share family-friendly recipes that make cooking both easy and fun…yes, I said FUN! My kitchen is my happy place, and I want yours to be that place too. Let’s cook together!