Here is a deceivingly simple recipe for a traditional pasta dish. Its origins come from an International House of Mojo’s “Cooking with Spaff” article—my version is a relatively heavily altered version of Dominic Armato’s original.
- 1 lb cavatappi pasta
- 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp salt
- 1 ¼ cup chopped carrot
- 1 ¼ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 28 oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ cup cream
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- Put the water on the boil and add 2 tbsp of salt.
- Chop the carrots, celery, and onion into small, uniform pieces. Set aside.
- Drain tomatoes, then tear them into small pieces. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- Toss in carrot, celery, and onion. Stir occasionally until carrots start to soften—about 5 minutes.
- Pour in tomatoes and the remaining salt. Stir, and let sit for about three minutes.
- Pour in cream, stir, and wait for it to reach a light boil.
- Stir in Parmesan, and reduce to a simmer.
- Toss pasta into the pot and boil according to direction. You want to time the sauce so the cream can reduce a bit. Right about 15 minutes.
- Drain pasta; give it a quick, light toss in the colander; throw it back in the pot; pour the veggie/cream mix over it. Stir well.
Serve with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan on top.
Tip for the carnivore: Chop up some pancetta and lightly crisp it up after step five. Then skip the salt from step six—pancetta has its own salty flavors.