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Spaghetti with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Seek out the best-quality canned tomatoes for this robust, spicy sauce. Serve it over spaghetti for dinner tonight and use the rest to prepare other delicious meals (see related recipes at left).

To store the extra sauce, let it cool in a nonreactive metal bowl, then spoon it into containers. Refrigerate the sauce for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Ingredients:

For the spicy tomato sauce:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 cans (each 28 oz.) canned diced plum tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  •  
  • 2 Tbs. salt
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil for garnish
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus shards for garnish

Directions:

Prepare the sauce
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thick, about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove 5 cups for storing and let cool (see note above).

Cook the pasta
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt and pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add as much of the cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce.

Divide the pasta among shallow bowls, top with the sauce and garnish with the basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano shards. Pass the remaining grated cheese at the table. Serves 4; makes about 7 cups sauce total.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Vegetarian, by Dana Jacobi (Oxmoor House, 2007).