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Marcella Hazan Tomato Sauce with White Wine & Parsley


Description

Adapted from Marcella Cucina. Eataly sells Alfetra Vesuvio pasta, which is delicious, online. When I run out of my stash of the good stuff, I’ll return to using my favorites from my local supermarket — Barilla or DeCecco gemelli or orecchiette.


Ingredients

For the tomato sauce:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped white or yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 28-oz can of peeled whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed with hands or snipped with scissors
  • crushed chili flakes
  • kosher salt

For the pasta:

  • 1/2 lb. hot Italian sausage (or more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 lb. short pasta
  • freshly chopped parsley
  • freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan with the onions and sauté on medium until pale gold — you’re not trying to brown the onions here; you just want to sweat the onions. Add the garlic and cook just a few seconds until you smell its aroma. Add the parsley, stir once or twice, and then add the wine. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes until the alcohol smell dissipates.
  2. Add the tomatoes, the crushed chili flakes and a generous pinch of salt, and cook at a steady simmer, until the fat begins to separate from the sauce (see note below*), about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a large skillet until cooked through.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook your pasta al dente. Drain, reserving some of the pasta cooking liquid only if you’ve made the sauce in advance and are reheating it to toss with pasta.
  5. Place pasta in a large serving bowl. Toss with enough sauce to coat. Fold in sausage (if using). Sprinkle with some more parsley (optional). Pass cheese on the side.

Notes

  • Hazan’s note: As tomatoes cook down and their watery part evaporates, the fat you have used begins to run clear. When you skim the surface of the sauce with the side of a wooden spoon, or wipe away the sauce from the spoon from the bottom of the skillet, you see clear fat following the spoon’s trail, an indication that the tomato sauce is done.
  • My note: The sauce can be made ahead and heated as needed. It will definitely thicken up as it sits (especially in the fridge), so you might want to reserve some pasta cooking liquid to thin it out when you reheat it. It’s not necessary, but I’ve found this to be helpful.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian, American

Keywords: marcella, hazan, tomato, sauce, white wine, parsley