A simple weeknight pasta with a secret ingredient to brighten up the dish is exactly what you need on a cold, January day. This delicious, apple and tomato sauce pasta has been a recurring wintertime meal for our family for years. It hails from Lidia Bastianich, who came across it in the region of Trentino-Alto Adige in Northern Italy where apples are plentiful. As if it weren’t awesome enough already, that it comes together in about a half hour makes it the star of your work week. We have a number of “must-do’s” when cooking pasta, but the most important ones to follow are to finish cooking the pasta in the sauce and serve it hot. Pasta waits for no one.
(Adapted from Lidia Bastianich)
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 celery ribs diced
- 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 pound tart apples peeled and core removed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound spaghetti or use linguine or bucatini
- 1 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
In a large pot, saute the onion and celery until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the salt and stir, cooking another 5 minutes.
While the tomatoes are cooking, grate the apples on a box grater using the larger, coarse holes. Add the apples to the tomatoes, stir and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Using tongs, remove the pasta and place it directly in the simmering tomato sauce. Let it cook in the sauce for about two minutes. Taste for seasoning, and adjust the salt if necessary. If the sauce has thickened significantly, you can add a little pasta water to loosen it up.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese. Serve immediately, passing more grated cheese at the table. A little drizzle of nice olive oil is also a nice addition.
Try with the Smoke & Mirrors ’14.