Classic Pasta al Sugo – 3 basic tomato pasta sauces;

Classic Pasta al sugo;

Italian Pasta al Sugo generally refers to; pasta served with a simple tomato sauce; in this blog post I have listed three different variations of a basic tomato pasta sauce (sugo);

Important note;

With canned Italian diced, crushed or whole peeled tomatoes available in almost all supermarkets; there is really no reason to buy ready jar sauces; when you you can make your own sauce in the time it takes to cook the pasta;

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The following recipes can be made using Italian peeled tomatoes, wether they are crushed, diced or pureed using dried oregano or fresh basil which seems to be readily available from most supermarkets all year round these days; in the Spring/Summer season I prefer to use fresh super ripe diced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes along with fresh basil from my Kitchen garden;  and fresh onions and garlic;

the following recipes are sufficient for 5 main course serves of pasta;

Use 500 grams of Spaghetti or pasta shape of your choice;

1. Simple Tomato sugo with fresh Basil or Oregano;

2 x 400 g cans of diced or crushed Italian tomatoes;

1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil

salt/pepper

1 handful of fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon of dry oregano

Cooking;

Add the diced or crushed tomato to a casserole pan;

add a pinch of salt, pepper and the fresh basil leaves or the dry oregano;

add the olive oil;

bring to boil, then lower to a slow simmer;

add salt/pepper to taste;

cook for around 10 minutes; or as long as it takes for the pasta to cook;

2. Tomato with Garlic & Oregano (no fry method);

2 x 400 g cans of diced or crushed Italian tomatoes;

1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil

salt/pepper

1 large clove of garlic

1 teaspoon of dry oregano leaves

note;

In this recipe the garlic is not fried which leaves a fresher garlic flavour to the sauce;

Cooking;

Add the diced or crushed tomato to a casserole pan;

add a pinch of salt, pepper and the dried oregano;

add the crushed garlic;

add the olive oil;

bring to boil, then lower to a slow simmer;

add salt/pepper to taste;

cook for around 10 minutes; or as long as it takes for the pasta to cook;

3. Tomato with Onion, Garlic & Oregano (fry method);

2 x 400 g cans of diced or crushed Italian tomatoes;

1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil

salt/pepper

1 large clove of garlic crushed

1 small onion finely chopped

1 teaspoon of dry oregano leaves

Cooking;

add the olive oil to the pan;

heat the oil over a moderate heat;

add the chopped onion and crushed garlic;

add a pinch of salt, pepper and the dried oregano;

fry until the onion softens, be careful not to burn the garlic;

Add the diced or crushed tomato to a casserole pan;

bring to boil, then lower to a slow simmer;

add salt/pepper to taste;

cook for around 10 minutes; or as long as it takes for the pasta to cook;

Optional Ingredients;

Add some Hot Chilli for an angry “Arrabiata” sauce;

Add a couple Anchovy fillets and a hand full of pitted olives for a simple puttanesca style sauce;

Cooking the pasta;

Add 5 litres of water to a stock pot and put over a high flame;

tip; use hot water to speed up the cooking time;

Once the pasta water is boiling;

add two table spoons of cooking salt to the boiling water;

add the pasta;

be sure to stir the pasta a few times in the first few minutes so that it doesn’t stick together or to the bottom of the pot;

Cook for the time recommended on the packet; taste test the pasta in the last few minutes to ensure you don’t overcook the pasta;

drain the pasta into a colander;

add the pasta to the sauce in the casserole pot and stir through the sauce;

Serving;

serve straight out of the pot or add to a serving dish;

Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano and of course a glass of your favourite wine;

Buon Apetito;

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