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Local author Lisa Marie Latino joins me in the Cucina this week as we learn to make a dish mentioned in her debut novel Ten Years Later. Ten Years Later follows Carla D'Agostino through her "quarter-life crisis" leading up to her 10 year high school reunion. Like the author, and yours truly, Carla is an Italian-American with an over-the-top family. Here's the excerpt where she mentions this week's dish, pasta al pomodoro (among many others!)
"My parents spent all week prepping the menu of antipasto, with the finest Italian meats and cheeses (Course 1), penne a la pomodoro (Course 2), chicken marsala, spiraled ham, mashed potatoes and string beans (all Course 3), not to mention freshly picked figs and chestnuts from the garden and homemade tiramisu for dessert. (Do you see why I have food issues? What was this, our last meal before being sent to the electric chair?)"
Pasta Al Pomodoro
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
1 28oz. jar crushed tomato
5-6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
red pepper falkes
salt & pepper
1 lb. buccatini pasta (or any long, thin pasta)
2 tbs. butter
1/4 c. parmesan cheese (grated)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
In a separate pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add garlic cloves to the pan. Continue cooking another minute.
Pour tomato into the pan. Rinse the jar with water and add that to the sauce as well. Bring to a simmer and allow it to cook for about 10 minutes. Use tongs to remove the garlic cloves.
While the sauce simmers, cook your pasta until it's al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Strain the pasta and pour it into the sauce. Toss to coat the pasta. Add about 1/2 c. of the pasta water, the butter and cheese. Turn off the heat and continue tossing the pasta until the butter melts.
Serve hot with an extra sprinkle of parmesan.
Lisa's book can be purchased here