Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Ruth Rogers’ Simple Tomato Sauce

In Top Foodies Choose Their Favorite Recipes of All Time (The Guardian 29 January 2006), Ruth Rogers chose this as hers. She is the founding chef of London’s River Café and has an interesting podcast called Ruthie's Table 4. She said this is what she most often makes when guests come to her home for dinner.

The special taste of the sauce depends largely on the way the garlic is handled. It must be sliced very thinly, sautéed only until it becomes just faintly colored and then allowed to simmer slowly in the tomato so that it can release all its sweetness. Raw basil at the end contributes a fragrant fillip. Make sure the basil does not undergo any cooking.  Marcella Hazan


Ruth Roger's Simple Tomato Sauce

Adapted by Ruth Rogers from Marcella’s Italian Kitchen by Marcella Hazan

For ½ to 1 pound of pasta 


Marcella suggests spaghetti, spaghettini, fusilli, penne, rigatoni, or ziti.


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and sliced very thinly

400g (14 ounces) tinned Italian peeled plum tomatoes, cut into large pieces, with their juice (It’s always best if you use DOP Italian tomatoes.)

Salt to taste 

Black pepper 

10 fresh basil leaves, torn by hand into small pieces

(I don’t use any grated cheese with this sauce, but, of course, you can.)


Put the oil and garlic in a saucepan and turn the heat to medium. When the garlic becomes colored a pale gold, add the tomatoes and turn the heat down to very low. Cook, uncovered, until the oil floats free of the tomatoes - about 20 minutes. 


Add salt and grindings of pepper and cook for another two to three minutes, stirring from time to time. 


Off the heat, stir in the torn basil leaves.



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