Sugo di pomodoro with fresh pasta
When summer is at its best and the tomato vines are breaking under the weight of the fruit hanging on them, it is time to cook some sugo di pomodoro, an essential in Italian cooking. A simple, yet so unbelievably delicious sauce that, of course, has its variations in every Italian household – with roasted tomatoes, peeled, unpeeled, blended, or chunky. So, I am not saying that my version is the right one, but it surely is very delicious. And no, it is not 100% classic, since I like to use freshly cut herbs from the garden and some anchovies to give it that extra boost and depth of the flavor.PS. You can always make a big, very big pan (it will take longer), and freeze the rest for cooler winter days.
Recipe inspired by Bergner Master Pro pans and pots (as part of my fantastic ambassador experience) – I used the biggest pan and largest pot to boil pasta.
good handful of finely grated parmesan
handful fresh basil leaves
2 medium/large eggs
200 g pasta flour
50 g semolina for dusting
1.5 kg sweet tomatoes
20 ml mild extra virgin olive oil
70 g very finely chopped shallots
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 basil stalks
4 thyme stalks, leaves only
2 marjoram stalks, leaves only
3 anchovy fillets*
20 g butter
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
sea salt to taste
Make the sauce. Blanche tomatoes, drain the juice, and chop the flesh finely. Heat the pan and add oil, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle some salt (that prevents it from burning) and sauté on a very low heat for 10 – 15 minutes (believe me, this makes the difference). Add tomatoes, herbs, and anchovies and turn up the heat to make it bubble and boil for 5 minutes. When it’s done, lower the heat and sauté for 30 minutes, mixing from time to time. Add butter, some salt and pepper, and sauté for 10 more minutes.
While the sauce is cooking, make the pasta and set the table. Place the flour on a board or in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth. Using the tips of your fingers, mix the eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time, until everything is combined. Knead the pieces of dough together and work it with your hands to develop smooth and elastic dough – this can take up to 10 minutes. Please do not be tempted to add more flour, only if really needed.
Then wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to rest for at least a half an hour before you use it. Take it out, and roll it. The best, of course, is to do it with a pasta machine, but if you don’t have one, do it with matarello or a rolling pin (or even a full wine bottle). Sprinkle some semolina or pasta flour on the surface next to dough. Cut 1/3 and run through the thickest setting. Fold it in three and roll it through again (start with the side, where you can see the folds). Repeat this 5 or 6 times (you can fold it sometimes in three, sometimes in half).
Once you've done this, lower the numbers and roll it through until you get to seven. Stop. Cut into wide strips and dust with semolina. Make the rest of the pasta, making sure that the rest of the unused pasta is covered in cling film.
Boil the water, add pasta and boil for 5 minutes. Drain, add to the sauce, mix and serve. Don't forget to add good handful of cheese, because everything just tastes better with parmesan. And, yes, some basil leaves too. always add those.
* I you do not want to add fish (although it gives superb flavour), add some smoked paprika powder – it also makes a difference.
Recipe and pictures: Signe Meirane
Camera: Sony Alpha 7s