There are things grown-ups (no matter what age) should know how to do in the kitchen. Some are simple dishes; others are cooking skills and tricks that make a good dish great. If you have these recipes and skills in our back pocket, you can be sure to have a dish that you can whip up successfully when you have friends over for dinner—and feed you and your family a little better, too.
One recipe for that back-pocket list is an easy quick dish of pasta such as this Spaghetti Pomodoro with Italian Sausages. Unless it has meat in it, tomato sauce shouldn’t cook for hours, says cookbook author Roy Finamore, who created this recipe for Real Food. This is the simplest, purest of sauces (the sausages are cooked separately), and you can have dinner ready in nearly the time it takes to boil water and cook spaghetti.
Spaghetti Pomodoro with Italian Sausages
Makes 4 servings
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 sweet Italian sausages
3 good-sized garlic cloves (1 only peeled and 2 minced)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed plum tomatoes
½ cup water
1 bay leaf
crushed hot red pepper flakes
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound spaghetti
freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Prick the sausages all over with the tip of a paring knife. When the oil shimmers, add the peeled garlic and sausages. Cook, turning them as necessary, until the sausages are browned all over and just cooked through, about 15 minutes. When garlic browns, discard it. Remove the skillet from heat.
- Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on to boil over high heat.
- Put the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and the minced garlic in a 12-inch skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook until the garlic barely starts to turn gold, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes. Rinse the can with the water and add it to the skillet along with the bay leaf, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, and then turn the heat down to low.
- When the water comes to a boil, season it with 2 tablespoons salt. Add the spaghetti and cook it until it is about 1 minute shy of al dente.
- Turn the heat under the sauce up to high and discard the bay leaf. Use tongs to transfer the spaghetti to the sauce and add ¼ cup of the pasta water. Use tongs to stir the spaghetti into the sauce, lifting it up to separate the strands as you stir. If the sauce is very thick, add a little more pasta water. Cook for 1 minute.
- Divide the spaghetti among 4 pasta bowls, add a sausage to each bowl, and serve immediately. Pasta waits for no one. Pass the cheese at the table.
Things to Know
• Older garlic cloves will have a sprout in the center, and it’s bitter. So cut garlic cloves in half and pull out the green sprout before you mince them.
• Chefs use a paring knife to mince garlic, but it’s easier to smash garlic with the flat of a chef’s knife, add a pinch of salt, and then chop. Press down with the flat of your knife, pulling it across the garlic and crushing it with the knife. Chop and crush again and again until you almost have a paste.
Nutrition info Spaghetti Pomodoro (Per Serving): Calories 999 (393 From Fat); Fat 44g (Sat. 11g); Chol 43mg; Sodium 1331mg; Carb 114g; Fiber 10g; Protein 36g