Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Weekly Recipe: Pasta al Pomodoro with a Chef in Training

Is this not an image every woman dreams of seeing?  A man, specifically her husband (because I hate the word spouse), slaving over a hot stove, cooking the family dinner.  Yes, please.  I'll have that for dinner.  

I subscribe to a few food magazines.  Shocked?  I thought so.  I look forward to Cooking Light.  Wes looks forward to Bon Appetit.  Why?  I have no idea.  I think he's more scholarly than me (or is it I?) and Bon Appetit is more, well, advanced.  

This month's issue featured a delicious plate of spaghetti on the front, a recipe I would have looked at and skipped right over.  Everyone knows how to make spaghetti, right?  What could be so difficult?  Wes thought otherwise.  He was smitten from the first drop of drool.  Before I even saw the magazine he was brazenly stating that he was going to make that dish.  Um, sure thing?!  

I wasn't sure what was so exciting about it but I wasn't about to deny him the right to get in touch with his inner Paula Deen.  I love to cook but I love to be cooked for even more.  

I'll skip the rest of the narrative and end your suspense, he did it!  He really, really did it!  It was perhaps more laborsome (I told you he was the scholarly one) than he had intended but it was delicious.  He was proud, my belly was happy, and we all had seconds.  
Bon Appetit, May 2011
¼ cup olive oil
1 minced medium onion
4 minced garlic cloves
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-oz can peeled tomatoes, pureed in food processor
3 large basil sprigs
12 oz bucatini or spaghetti
2T. unsalted butter
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino

Heat oil in a 12” skillet over med-low heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, stirring for 2-4 minutes.  Add red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute more.  Increase heat to medium, add tomatoes, and season lightly with salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes.  Remove pan from heat, stir in basil and set aside. 

Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts water to boil in a 5-quart pot.  Season with salt; add bucatini and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender.  Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup pasta water.

Discard basil and heat skillet over high heat.  Stir in reserved pasta water to loosen sauce; bring to a boil.  Add pasta and cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes.  Remove pan from heat; add butter and grated Parmesan; toss until cheese melts.  Transfer to warm bowls; serve with more cheese, if desired.

*Note:  No modifications on this one because just as he like in real life, we must follow every instruction to the letter.  No alterations, no substitutions allowed.  

And to boot?  He wants to do it again.  As in every other week!  Woo-hoo!  Party over here!

Linking up to Moms Crazy Cooking this week with the weekly craving "Eat With Your Kid Day."


  1. The spaghetti looks great! Adam cooks me breakfast a lot on weekends, I love it! I normally handle dinner when we're together. :)

  2. That looks delish! I'm trying to get my husband more interested in cooking too. I'm starting slowly, by getting him to watch cooking shows with me. I figured he already likes TV so it's a good place to start. I'll let you know if that leads to any real cooking. (Beyond the burgers, sandwiches and grilling he does now.)

  3. We get that magazine and I fell in love with the photo of that too! Glad to know it is good. And yes, your husband cooking is amazing. Nick cooks at least a couple times a week when he doesn't have soccer and I love it!

  4. The picture of Wes cooking is what most women consider a centerfold picture : ) Way to go ... the dish looks delish!