I took a vacation about a month ago, and it seemed to extend until around now. Summer vacation has a tendency to do that, it seems – and in the office where I work, it’s only reinforced, because at any given time there are 20% of my coworkers on vacation between the months of May and September. So the overall feeling of vacation hangs around, even long after my own is over. I’m definitely not complaining – I’d extend summer throughout the whole year if I could.
I finally feel like I’m getting back to a sort of normal routine, though, and with that I am able to cook more regularly again. I’d had this recipe bookmarked for a couple weeks and finally got around to making it yesterday. It’s as simple as can be, and was easy enough for a weeknight where I was sleep-deprived and couldn’t bother with anything complex. You just toss some (good quality) canned tomatoes into a large baking dish, and throw in a handful garlic cloves, a teeny bit of anchovy, and butter to help it along. It roasts for just 35-40 minutes, bubbling away and reducing to a luscious sauce that you can pour over any pasta you’d like. With minimal chopping required, it’s almost as easy as just opening a jar of sauce, and it certainly tastes a whole lot more unique.
- 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (and their juice)
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 anchovy fillets packed in oil
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus more for serving
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 oz. pasta (I used 1 pound and it was fine!)
- Finely grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- Basil, cut into small ribbons (for serving, optional)
- Preheat your oven to 425 F. In a large baking dish (13x9"), add tomatoes with their juice (crush with your hands or a potato masher), all crushed garlic cloves, anchovy fillets, butter pieces, and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Roast the mixture, stirring once halfway through cooking, for about 35-40 minutes. When you remove it from the oven, it should be easy to mash the garlic cloves and tomatoes either with a fork or a potato masher.
- While sauce roasts, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions or until al dente. Reserve 1 ladle or about 1/2 cup of pasta water in a heatproof container.
- Drain the pasta and place it back in the pot. Pour tomato sauce over the pasta and mix well. If the sauce is slightly too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water as needed (I only needed about half of it).
- Serve with fresh grated parmesan, red pepper flakes if desired, and basil.
Recipe adapted slightly from Bon Appetit