Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pasta with Home-Style Tomato Sauce

From; William Sonoma Cookbook - The essential recipe collection for Today's Home Cook

For Homestyle Sauce:
1/4c. extra virgin oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 yellow onion finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 leek, white part only, rinsed and finely diced
1 small inner celery stalk, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 fresh plum(roma) tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 can (35oz.1.1kg) plum (roma) tomatoes, chopped, with juice
1 bay leaf
2 or 3 fresh thyme sprigs
Salt & freshly ground pepper

For the Pasta;
1lb sturdy pasta such as spaghetti, bucatini or dried shaped pasta
small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
Thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)

To make the sauce, in a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the 1/4c oil. Add the onion, carrot, leek, and celery and saute until just turning lightly golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute without colouring, about 1 minute. Add the fresh and canned tomatoes with their juice, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook, unocvered, until slightly thickened, no more then 20 minutes. The sauce should remain at a lively simmer; stir several times during cooking.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente, 7-9 minutes.

Remove the thyme springs and bay leaf from the sauce and discard. Add the parsley, basil and a drizzle of olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Drain the pasta and put it in a warmed large shallow bowl. Add the sauce, toss it gently with the pasta, garnish with thyme sprigs, if using, and serve at once.

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