If you’ve got your shit together, this pasta sauce is ready in 10 minutes.
The bones of this sauce are based on Marcella Hazan’s amazing tomato sauce, but just because it’s me, I’m impatient and seem to have an affinity for tossing all my problems into a blender until they’re nice and smooth and unrecognizable. This recipe doesn’t take an hour and requires minimal cleanup. Plus, if you omit the pasta and, like, salt, effectively there are three ingredients in this recipe. Three.
You have no excuse not to make this.
Pasta in Fresh Tomato and Butter Sauce
9–10 oz ripe fresh tomatoes
Note: We recommend using little guys like cherry or grape tomatoes. You don’t have to cut anything, they’re easier to weigh, and they tend to have a better flavor than their bigger counterparts if you’re shopping at a regular grocery store. You’ll miss out on the beautiful tart flavor if you don’t use good tomatoes for this. That being said, if you choose to make this during summer and you want to use some glorious heirloom tomatoes that you just bought at the farmers market as opposed to the little ‘uns that we we recommend here, then you do yourself a goddamn favor and make it with those.
2 large garlic cloves, skins removed, very roughly chopped
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
salt & pepper to taste
Roughly 4 oz. of uncooked dry pasta or 220 grams of fresh pasta
Note: We always use fresh pasta for this sauce, and the recipe we use for fresh pasta is our own. It tastes incredible, plus it makes better pasta water. You can find the recipe here.
¼ cup pasta water (or more if needed), reserved
Bring water in a pot to boil for your pasta while you preheat a skillet over medium high heat.
In a blender, add the fresh tomatoes and chopped garlic and blend until completely smooth. Pour the sauce into your hot skillet and let it reduce by about half. Stir occasionally and keep an eye on your color.
When the sauce has reduced and turned a lovely shade of darker red, add the butter to the pan and let it melt. Stir the melted butter into your sauce, then lower the heat on your pan to medium low and let the butter and tomato sauce simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste as the ingredients in the sauce bond.
This is a good time to cook the dry pasta in your boiling water. The noodles should be cooked until a little under al dente since they’ll cook a little more after they’re tossed in the hot sauce. If you’re using fresh pasta, I’d wait until the sauce has simmered a little more since fresh pasta can be cooked in a minute or two. Be sure to take some of the pasta water out of your pot and reserve it before draining your noodles. Add 1/4 cup of the water and stir it in (or more if you think it needs it, it all depends on how much the sauce has reduced).
Remove your pan from the heat and add the noodles, then toss them in the sauce. As the noodles cool while they’re being stirred, they should thicken the sauce on their own, so be patient while the starches in the noodles work their magic. Once the noodles are evenly coated and the sauce has thickened, serve immediately. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and red chili flakes, maybe some chopped parsley or basil if you’re feeling it.
Serves 2, or one if you happen to be Nate after leg day.