Sunday does seem like an excellent day for spaghetti. When you donâ€™t feel like cooking up a storm, you want to do something quick but delicious. You want comfort food that pleases all agesâ€¦ Just as much as I look for sinigang or adobo or fried bangus, I like to eat a properly made spaghetti with red sauce at least twice a monthâ€¦ I could rant for hours on how the local variation of spaghetti Bolognese has achieved nearly disgusting status depending on where you eat it but I will just say that overly sweet, with chunks of hotdog, overly cooked spaghetti, this post is not about. It actually amazes me that so few folks make it the way it more or less was intended to be because it is REALLY easy to doâ€¦
For the basic tomato sauce, this is more or less my recipe. Heat up a nice heavy pan with some olive oil and add whole garlic cloves (number up to your own taste, I use say 6-8) and sautÃ© until light brown, do not burn or the sauce will taste bitter. I add a medium white chopped onion and some kosher salt and sweat the onions until soft but not browning at the edges. Add a large can or two of good Italian plum tomatoes that have been chopped up (or used crushed canned plum tomatoes), I like to make sure and remove the tougher stem end, and cook over high heat for just 12-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add shredded basil leaves at the last second and turn off the flame. Serve with good dry (boxed) spaghetti that has been cooked to al dente or â€œstill having some firmness stateâ€ and have a generous amount of freshly grated parmesan on hand. Add some cracked black pepper and this is real authentic Italian comfort food. Some people like to use sliced garlic instead of whole cloves.
If you want to get fancy, there are several easy variations on this basic recipe. First, you could sautÃ© chopped bacon or pancetta in the pan with the garlic and onions and have a bacon and tomato sauce. Or you can add some crushed red pepper or chilli with the bacon to get you close to an a la matriciana style. I have also done this past with white chicken meat, mushrooms, shrimps, fried eggplant, etc. The key is to have good ingredients, cook just briefly rather than stew for many hours and serve it hot with good cheese and perhaps some nice crusty bread and crisp light green saladâ€¦