A tomato sauce secret
Last week, we posted our basic recipe for making tomato sauce for pasta.
There are infinite variations: over the next few weeks, as summer tomatoes begin to come into season, we have a whole series of posts planned on seasonings, the “onion vs. garlic” debate, pasta shapes, and other tips on how to make great, authentic tomato sauce.
But before we move on to the finer points of a great salsa al pomodoro, we wanted to take a moment to discuss one of the most important elements in “finishing” any pasta with tomato sauce.
While we have nothing against those who simply top their cooked noodles with a ladleful of sauce, we do subscribe to the camp of those who believe that the pasta should be folded into the sauce (as in the image above).
Here’s the trick.
Right before the pasta is done cooking, add a quarter or half ladleful of its cooking water to the simmering sauce (it’s important that you use the salted cooking water, which also contains some starch from the pasta).
Be sure too cook the pasta very al dente and you can even remove it from the burner while still undercooked.
Strain the pasta carefully and then fold it into the simmering sauce.
As the pasta finishes cooking through, it will absorb the flavors of the sauce (if you omit this step, the sauce will still flavor the pasta but not as deeply).
For many pasta lovers, this a key element in preparing any pasta sauce.
Coming soon: the great “garlic vs. onion” debate…