Tuesday, July 28, 2009

spaghetti with three-tomato sauce

i don't own a lot of cookbooks - i'm always tempted to purchase them and have been known to wander the food section of Williams-Sonoma aimlessly, fingering glossy pages of meringue and short ribs and paella until shop clerks start looking at me like i'm a culinary junkie/vagrant. but the deal is, i know myself well, and myself rarely cooks from a book. i have several standard dishes that i know how to make by heart and can vary at a moment's notice to mirror the contents of my pantry, and if i'm in the mood for something new, i either make something up or pull a recipe off the interwebs to fit my fancy.

but, whilst exchanging wedding gifts at W-S a couple of weekends ago, i couldn't resist throwing Great Food Fast - a Martha Stewart "Everyday Food" cookbook into my pile of items to purchase with credit. the recipes looked easy enough and i love how they are broken up into season to best compliment the weather outside your window and the produce inside your local grocery.

since the tomatoes have been singing to me like sirens every week from the farmer's market, i decided to give the spaghetti with three-tomato sauce a go last night. here's the original recipe:

  • coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 1/2 c. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, oil reserved
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (28 oz.) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved

i substituted whole wheat torchio pasta for the spaghetti. i also just couldn't pass up the fresh heirloom tomatoes, so i chopped those instead of using canned tomatoes. i didn't remove the skin so it separated like strings in the sauce which wasn't as aesthetically pleasing but didn't diminish the taste!

  • in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. drain, reserving 1 cup of poasta water; return the pasta to the pot.
  • meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons sundried tomato oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. add the garlic and red pepper flakes; cook until frangrant, 30 seconds. add the canned tomatoes (with juice) and sundried tomatoes. simmer gently, stirring occasionally and breaking up the canned tomatoes until thick, about 15 minutes.
  • add the cherry tomatoes; simmer until soft, about 10 minutes.
  • add to the pasta. season with salt and pepper. toss, adding pasta water as desired. served immediately.
(photo from the cookbook)

(mine - well, Evs'... its just never as pretty as the photos, is it?)

ummm so this was delicious and seriously easy. Evs even forgave its lack of meat. the cherry tomatoes pretty much explode in your mouth like a freakin' scrumptious roman candle of wonderfulness. next time, i will use whole wheat spaghetti - i think it would go better with the consistency of the sauce. i'd also use more whole tomatoes (it looked like a lot when i was making the sauce but i could have used another great big heirloom) and i'd chop the sundried tomatoes (like the recipe says).

give it a go. do it. like, tonight.


  1. I'm adding this post to my favorites. I have been looking for a good spaghetti sauce recipe. Most of them call for a billion tomatoes and I'm never willing to buy that many. This looks delish!

  2. That cookbook sounds like a good one! Who doesn't appreciate "Great Food Fast" when we're all so busy. That spaghetti looks yummy!

  3. I heart that book, I love how it's organized by season. I just made the blueberry crumb cake (and threw in some mango and peaches too). I've had this spaghetti in mind to make for a while, glad it was a win!

  4. That looks like a book I have to have! And it looks like you and I were both taking part in Martha recipes and heirloom tomatoes recently (I just did a post on this as well!) Looks delish!


  5. Yum! Definitely going to try this sometime:-)

  6. Oh wow, that needs to get in my belly RIGHT NOW.

    I'm definitely bookmarking this!

  7. LIKE I SAID...WHEN am I coming over to enjoy all of this goodness?

    AHEM, I thought we were besties...just saying!

  8. ahhhh, feast and merriment ;-) definitely will try this one out!

  9. yum! yes, please! gotta make this soon.

  10. Looks fabulous! I love the Everyday Food magazine and really want to buy the cookbook... too bad the Mr. suggested I just flag the meals I like from my 2 years of the mag. Maybe next time I go on a COSTCO run alone it will be mine.

  11. I dig the shape of that pasta.

  12. ooh, i LOVE that cookbook!!

    its one of the only ones i have ever actually used!!

    (i'm like you and love love love to peruse and buy gorgeous cookbooks!)

  13. The reluctant food blogger in me is so proud of you! Seriously, fresh tomatoes? You rock. BTW this is one of my favorite cookbooks of all time. The chicken with goat cheese recipe and several of my other staples are from this book. There is a TV series on PBS that goes with, we DVR it religiously.

  14. I love the good food fast cookbook. I've been meaning to try that sauce but canned tomatoes scare me.


happy little comments!