Pasta Al Pomodoro

Have you seen the May issue of Bon Appetit? It's the first one with new Editor in Chief Adam Rapoport's name on the masthead. The magazine has been completely redesigned, and for the most part, I love it. I really like that the redesign is obvious. The magazine is not masquerading as the old Bon Appetit. It was recreated and sent out to make a big impression on readers. Rapoport writes that the magazine's focus on cooking is not going to change but how the information is presented will and that the new Bon Appetit aims to teach you how to cook so that if later on you don't have the magazine handy, you'll still remember the advice, tips, and stories and be able to execute a perfect dish.

I decided to take on the cover recipe as my first recipe from the new Bon Appetit, the pasta al pomodoro, described as having the "simplest, silkiest sauce you'll ever make."

Pasta Al Pomodoro (adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2011)


1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
28-ounce can peeled tomatoes, pureed in food processor
Kosher salt
3 large fresh basil sprigs
12 ounces pasta (recipe recommends bucatini or spaghetti; I used ternetta)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, at room temp
1/4 cup grated Parmesan


Heat olive oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 12 minutes.

Stir in garlic, and continue cooking for another 2 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the crushed red pepper flakes, and cook for another minute.

Increase heat to medium, and stir in the pureed tomatoes.

Season with salt, and continue cooking until sauce thickens and flavors meld, about 20 minutes.

Remove pan from heat, and stir in the basil sprigs. Set sauce aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions minus 2 minutes cooking time, and make sure to salt the water liberally.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

Discard basil, and return sauce to high heat. Stir in reserved pasta water, and bring sauce to a boil.

Stir in the pasta, and cook until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes.

Turn off the heat, and stir in the butter and Parmesan, tossing until Parmesan is melted.

Transfer pasta to bowls, and serve with more cheese, if desired.

Pasta al pomodoro

I also made some chicken parmigiana and served it alongside the pasta. The pasta definitely had a luxuriously silky sauce. After one bite, Jeff mentioned that the sauce was really good, and I agreed. And then he asked if I was going to remember how to make it the same way again. If what Adam Rapoport says is right, I will. I haven't tried again yet, but I definitely understand the main concepts of the sauce and am pretty sure I could recreate it -- or at least come really close.

Do you subscribe to or read Bon Appetit? What do you think of the redesign?