(Above: This pasta dish pairs well with garlic bread and an arugula and kale salad. And if you’re feeling ambitious and hungry, make some authentic Italian meatballs to go along with it.)
Sometimes you need a recipe like this to remind you how easy perfection can be.
This is a simple tomato and pasta dish that dates back to the classic Italian cookbook, “The Art of Eating Well,” published in 1891 by Pellegrino Artusi. Artusi travelled throughout Italy collecting the best family recipes from each region.
This dish is from Naples and is called, “Neapolitan-Style Macaroni II.”
You can use whatever type of pasta you like, but it should be one that absorbs the sauce well. So textured pastas, tubular pastas, and large fat noodles work well. I used some pappardelle but I’ve also used penne in the past and both work well.
This basic sauce is made by cooking tomatoes and although fresh tomatoes from a garden would be best, I used what I could find in February in Boston (rubbery tomatoes sold on the vine) and it still came out delicious.
The sauce is simple to make but takes a little work as you have to peel the tomatoes and then take the seeds out. I found using this vegetable peeler to be much easier than trying to peel the tomatoes with a paring knife.
This recipe is what Rootsliving is all about. It’s an ethnic recipe from the past that is tried and true, and simple. Buon Appetito!
EASY WEEKNIGHT PASTA (AKA: NEAPOLITAN-STYLE MACARONI II)
- One pound of pasta (Penne can be used as it absorbs the sauce well)
- Two large slices of onions
- 1 1/4 pounds of peeled, seeded tomatoes (4 or 5 will do)
- Fresh basil (a couple of tablespoons minced)
- Butter (1/2 stick, plus two tablespoons)
- Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
- Salt/Pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese, grated (about a 1/4 – 1/2 cup)
- Step 1 Saute onion in two tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. The onion will split into rings as it cooks. When it browns, press it down with a spoon and then discard.
- Step 2 Stir in the tomatoes. Add basil, salt and pepper.
- Step 3 Simmer until done. About 1/2 hour or until it’s not watery.
- Step 4 Cook pasta until al dente. Add sauce, 1/2 stick of butter and grated parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread and a salad, if you like.