Pasta with White Wine and Porcini Mushroom Sauce

Servings: 2
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 20 minutes,
Source: Spoon University, April 12, 2012

The “Pappardelle ai Funghi Porcini” is one of my favorite pasta dishes. It’s the perfect, elegant plate to present on a special occasion. The sauce is light and flavorful and the mushrooms add a wonderful, meaty texture. Though there are many variations to this dish, most add white wine to the mushroom sauce to compliment the porcini flavor perfectly. If available, try this recipe with a bit of truffle oil to add an amazing aroma and a unique flavor to an already incredible dish. Bring out the candles, and with this meal, it’ll be a night to remember.

Ingredients: 

7 oz of Pappardelle pasta or Tagliatelle
2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (equivalent to 1 packet found at Whole Foods)
2 tablespoons chopped shallots (or onions, if shallots are not available)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups Beef Broth
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley (optional)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions: 

1. To rehydrate the mushrooms, place them in a bowl with two cups of water and let them soak for about 15 minutes.
Tip: They are ready when they are soft, have changed shape, and are moist2. Drain the water and wash mushrooms as you would with lettuce. (Since mushrooms grow in the ground, they can be very dirty. As you drain the water, you will see the dirt you are removing.)
2. Drain the water and wash mushrooms as you would with lettuce. (Since mushrooms grow in the ground, they can be very dirty. As you drain the water, you will see the dirt you are removing.).
3. In the microwave, heat the beef broth for about a minute.
4. Remove from microwave and add the mushrooms to the beef broth.
5. While the mushrooms are marinating, heat butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Lower heat if butter begins to boil or brown.
6. Once butter has melted, add the garlic and shallots.
7. When garlic begins to brown, add white wine to pan and bring to a simmer.
8. Add the beef broth (without the mushrooms!) into the pan and let simmer, stirring occasionally.
9. When the sauce has been reduced to half the original amount, add the mushrooms, and lower heat.
Tip: The sauce should be thick enough to lightly coat the pasta. If you feel like your sauce is too thick, add some water to the mixture.
10. While mushroom sauce is setting, boil a pot of water and add pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente.
11. Drain pasta and add it to the pan with the mushroom sauce. Toss pasta in pan, coating it in sauce. (Optional: add about 4 tbs of truffle oil to the pasta in this step)
12. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the parmesan and chopped parsley.

5. While the mushrooms are marinating, heat butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Lower heat if butter begins to boil or brown.
6. Once butter has melted, add the garlic and shallots.
7. When garlic begins to brown, add white wine to pan and bring to a simmer.

Cod Cakes

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 2.52.58 PM

Servings: 4 to 6 servings as a main course, 6 to 8 servings as an appetizer
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 1 hour, plus chilling
Source: Sam Sifton https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017976-cod-cakes

Cod cakes are terrific with cod, but can be made with any white-fleshed fish. Poach the fillets in bay-leaf-scented water, then flake the cooled meat into a New Englandish mirepoix of sautéed onions and celery. Eggs and cracker crumbs will help bind everything together below a drift of spice. Make sure to leave some time to chill the resulting patties in the refrigerator – the cold will help them set up so they don’t fall apart in the sauté pan. A light smear of mayonnaise on the exterior of the cakes before you fry them will encourage the most glorious crust. Serve with a thatch of green salad, a bowl of chowder or a neat pile of slaw.

Ingredients: 

4 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 lemon, cut into eighths
1 pound cod fillets, or other white flaky fish
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ribs celery, trimmed, peeled and diced
1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 heaping tablespoon mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, or to taste
1 ‘‘sleeve’’ unsalted saltine crackers, crushed, or 1 heaping cup panko bread crumbs
½ bunch parsley, roughly chopped
¼ cup neutral oil, like canola

Directions: 

Fill a shallow, wide pan with high sides with about an inch of water, and set it over high heat. Add the peppercorns, bay leaf and 1 section of the lemon to the water, and allow it to come to a bare simmer. Place the fish into this poaching liquid, and cook, barely simmering, until the flesh has just begun to whiten all the way through, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Using a wide spatula, carefully remove the fish from the water, and set aside to cool.

Empty the pan, and return it to the stove, over medium-high heat. Add the butter, and allow it to melt, swirling it around the pan. When the butter foams, add the celery, onions and garlic, and sauté, stirring often, until the vegetables soften and the onions turn translucent, then transfer them to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, eggs, salt, pepper and seasoning salt (or paprika and hot-pepper flakes), then add this mixture to the bowl with the sautéed vegetables, pour the crushed saltines or bread crumbs over them and stir to combine. Add the parsley, and stir again.

Flake the cooked fish into the binding sauce carefully, keeping the flakes as whole as you can manage, then gather them into small balls, and form them into patties, 4-6 for a main course, 6-8 for an appetizer. Place them on a sheet pan or platter, cover loosely with plastic wrap and transfer them to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set.

Set a large sauté pan over high heat, and add to it the neutral oil. When the oil is shimmering, remove the fish cakes from the refrigerator, and carefully sauté the patties until they are golden brown, approximately 4 to 5 minutes a side. Work in batches if necessary. (A small smear of mayonnaise on the exterior of the patties will give them a crisp crust.) Serve them alone, or with greens dressed in a lemony vinaigrette, with the remaining wedges of lemon.

Korean-Style Chicken Wings

24COOKING-KOREAN-CHICKEN2-articleLarge

Servings: 4 to 6
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 45 min
Source: New York Times, Mark Bittman

Wings have a higher ratio of skin to meat than almost any other cut of chicken, which is what makes them so appealing. In order to crisp the skin, you need to render out most of the fat that comes with it, otherwise you’ll get chewy wings instead of crunchy ones.

Ingredients: 

3 pounds of chicken wings
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Korean red chili paste or sriracha
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger

Directions: 

Cut 3 pounds of chicken wings into three sections; save the wing tips for stock. Toss the wings with a little neutral oil to keep them from sticking.

Heat a charcoal or gas grill; the fire should be moderately hot and the rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat. Leave one side of the grill cooler for indirect cooking.

Put the wings on the cool side of the grill. Cover the grill and cook, checking and turning once or twice, until most of the fat has been rendered, and the wings are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

While the wings cook, combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup Korean red chili paste or sriracha, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil, 2 tablespoons minced garlic and 1 tablespoon minced ginger in a large bowl.

When the wings are cooked, add them to the bowl with the sauce, and toss to coat. Now put the wings on the hot part of the grill, and cook, uncovered, turning as necessary, until they’re nicely browned on both sides.

Broccoli Rabe and Potato Pizza

051145028-01-broccoli-rabe-pizza-recipe_xlg

Servings: 6 to 8
Preheat: 450
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Source: Fine Cooking Issue 145

Broccoli rabe and potatoes, a classic Italian combination, is even better topped with creamy, smoky mozzarella.

Ingredients: 

1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick (about 1 cup)
2-1/2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary 12 oz. broccoli rabe, trimmed and finely chopped (about 7-1/2 cups)
All-purpose flour, for the pizza peel
1 lb. store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature
6 oz. coarsely grated mozzarella
4 oz. coarsely grated smoked mozzarella
4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 oz. finely grated Grana Padano (1/2 cup)

Directions: 

Position a pizza stone on a rack in the center of the oven, and heat to 450°F.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the potato slices for 1 minute. Rinse under cold water, gently pat dry with paper towels, and set aside.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat 2 Tbs. oil over medium-high heat. add the rosemary and cook, stirring often, until crisp, about 1 minute. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add the broccoli rabe to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the stalks are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Generously flour a pizza peel or a large cookie sheet. Stretch the pizza dough on the peel to a 14-inch circle. Evenly distribute half of both mozzarellas over the dough, then half of the potatoes, half of the broccoli rabe, and all of the garlic, covering most of the surface. Crumble the fried rosemary leaves over the pizza. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, broccoli rabe, and mozzarella. Season with a pinch of salt and a few generous grinds of pepper, and carefully slide onto the pizza stone.

Bake until the crust is browned and the cheese is just melted, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven, top with the grana Padano, and drizzle with the remaining oil. Cool briefly and serve.

Phat Thai

Servings: 1
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 1 hour
Source: Pok Pok by Andy Ricker

SERVES 1 AS A ONE-PLATE MEAL !!!
I edited ingredients slightly to facilitate purchasing of common items.
Note, the tamarind water and palm sugar syrup can/should be made ahead of time and frozen.

Ingredients: 

SHRIMP AND SAUCE
1 tablespoon medium-size dried shrimp, rinsed and patted dry
3 tablespoon Tamarind Water, page 275
2 tablespoons plus ¾ teaspoon palm sugar simple syrup, page 275
1 ½ tablespoons Thai fish sauce

STIR FRY
2 ¼ ounces (dried “phat thai” noodles, soaked in lukewarm water for about 10 minutes
2 tablespoons rendered pork fat or vegetable oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 ¼ ounces extra firm tofu, cut into small pieces about 1” X ½“ X ¼“, about ¼ cup
1 tablespoon shredded salted radish, soaked in water 10 minutes then drained
2 ounces bean sprouts (about 1 cup, lightly packed)
2 ounces medium shrimp (about 4), shelled and deveined
¼ cup very coarsely chopped (about 1-inch lengths) garlic chives or scallions, plus a pinch or two for finishing
2 generous tablespoons coarsely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

TO SERVE ALONGSIDE
2 small lime wedges
fish sauce
granulated sugar
Vinegar soaked chiles
Toasted chile powder

Directions: 

TOAST THE SHRIMP AND MAKE THE SAUCE

Heat a small dry pan or wok over medium heat, add the dried shrimp, and cook, stirring frequently, until they’re dry all the way through and slightly crispy, about 5 minutes. Set them aside in a small bowl. Covered at room temperature, they’ll keep for up to 1 week.

Combine the tamarind water, simple syrup, and fish sauce in a small bowl and stir well. Measure ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons, discarding the rest.

SOAK THE NOODLES AND STIR-FRY THE DISH

Soak the noodles in lukewarm water until they’re very pliable but not fully soft, about 20 minutes. Drain them well and snip them into approximately 8-inch lengths just before stir-frying.

Heat 3 large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat (or a wok over vary high heat), add the pork fat, and swirl it to coat the sides. When it begins to smoke lightly, crack the egg into the center of the pan (it should spit and sizzle violently and the whites should bubble and puff). Add the tofu, radish, and dried shrimp beside the egg. If you’re using a skillet, decrease the heat to medium; if you’re using a wok, keep the heat very high.

Cook, stirring everything but the egg, until the edges of the egg are light golden brown, about 1 minute, then flip the egg (it’s fine if the yolk breaks), break the egg into several pieces with the spatula, and stir everything together well.

Add the noodles and bean sprouts, and stir-fry (constantly stirring, scooping, and flipping) until the noodles and bean sprouts have softened slightly; about 1 minute.

Add the shrimp, then stir the tamarind mixture once more and add it to the pan. Stir—fry, making sure the shrimp get plenty of time on the hot surface, until they are cooked through, just about all the liquid has evaporated, and the noodles are fully tender and no longer look gloppy or clumpy, 2 to 4 minutes.

Add the chives and 1 tablespoon of the peanuts. Stir-fry briefly, then transfer it all to a plate, sprinkle on the remaining peanuts and chives, and serve with the lime wedges. Season to taste with the fish sauce, sugar, vinegar—soaked chiles, and chile powder.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Servings: 4
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 1.5 hours
Source: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/grilled_pork_tenderloin.aspx

Brining makes for an incredibly tender and moist meat. A light coating of the Birch Island rub is perfect for grilling.

Ingredients: 

Brine
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 quart water

2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds total)

Dry rub
http://www.danderecipes.com/2016/06/19/birch-island-pork-shoulder-rub-and-sauce/

Directions: 

Brine the tenderloins
In a medium bowl, mix salt and sugar with 1 quart cool water until dissolved. Trim the tenderloins of excess fat and silverskin and submerge them in the brine; let stand about 45 minutes. Remove the pork from the brine, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry.

Season and grill
Rub the brined tenderloins all over with the dry rub just before grilling. Set up coals for indirect grilling. Position the pork directly over the hot coals, and cook (covered), turning once, until nicely seared on both sides. Move the tenderloins to the coolest part of the grill (over no coals), close the lid, and cook for 5 minutes more.

Birch Island Pork Shoulder Rub and Sauce (plus ribs)

Servings: 8
Preheat: 325
Prep Time: overnight brine, then 6 hours on the grill
Source: Birch Island Friends of Norman and Carol

One 7 lb pork shoulder butt feeds ~12 people. The bone-in cut is best.

Ingredients: 

Brine:
1 cup molasses
1 cup kosher salt
8 quarts water

Brine bag

Rub:
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Paprika
3 TBS Salt
2 TBS Coarse Black Pepper
2 TBS Granulated Garlic
2 TBS Granulated Onion
2 TBS Chili Powder
2 TSP Chipotle Powder
1 TSP Cumin
1 TSP Coriander
1 TSP Thyme
1 TSP Ground Mustard

Sauce:
1 Cup Ketchup
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 TSP Salt
1 TSP Ground Pepper
1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
2 TBS Lemon Juice
4 TBS Worcestershire
2 TSP Mustard
1 TSP Chili Powder
1 TBS Oil
1 TSP Paprika
1/2 TSP Red Pepper – (optional)

6 to 8 pound pork shoulder

Directions: 

Pork Shoulder:
Heat 2 quarts of water and add molasses and salt, stirring until completely dissolved. Add rest of water and let cool before submerging meat in bag. Add pork and brine 12-24 hours.

Remove meat from brine and pat dry. Sift the rub evenly over the shoulder and then pat onto the meat making sure as much of the rub as possible adheres. More rub will adhere to the meat if you are wearing latex gloves during the application.

Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to 325 degrees. Place a drip pan under the grate between the mounds of coals. Add fresh charcoal every hour or as needed to maintain 225 degrees. Keep meat away from coals, or the sugar in the rub will burn.

How much time will your pork butt or picnic take? A good rule of thumb is about 1 hour per pound. But always allow more time than you think you’ll need. Avoid opening the grill or smoker too often. You know what pitmasters say: “If you’re lookin’, you’re not cookin’.”

If your intention is to serve the pork sliced, you can remove it from the grill when it reaches an internal temperature of 170 to 180 degrees F. If you want to chop or “pull” the pork (tear it into meaty shreds)—always my first choice—the internal temperature must be between 190 and 200 degrees F. Anything less, and the collagen and connective tissue will not have broken down sufficiently. Insert the temperature probe of an instant-read meat thermometer in several places to ensure doneness.

Shred pork when cool enough to handle, discarding skin, fat, and charred meat. Before serving, heat sauce and mix into pork.

Pork Ribs:
Spare ribs come from the the belly of the pig – where bacon comes from. Because they’re larger and tougher than baby backs they take longer and are more of a challenge to cook. However, they also have more meat than baby backs and more fat marbling which makes them more flavorful. The fact that they’re a greater test of grillmanship and they deliver more flavor makes them the rib of choice with people on the profession barbecue circuit.

St. Louis cut ribs – also known as Kansas City cut ribs – are merely spare ribs with the rib tips cut off. Removal of the tips makes the rib slab more attractive and helps it to cook more evenly.

Grill slowly, or the rub will burn. Plan for 4 1/2 to 5 hours:

Prepare to grill – indirectly if possible – at a low, steady heat of 225° F
Grill your ribs for 3 hours bone-side down
Wrap them in foil and grill, bone-side up, for 30 to 60 minutes. You can an extra special touch here by pouring a cup of apple cider or juice into the foil packet
Unwrap them and grill for 30 more minutes bone-side down.

Finally, add your sauce and move the ribs to the hottest part of the grill and remove when the sugars have caramelized and you have a nice pasty coating with crisp spots – not more than 20 minutes

Meatballs (Polpettine)

Servings: 4
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Source: The Classic Italian Cookbook, Marcella Hazan

NOTE
The meatballs can be prepared entirely ahead of time and refrigerated for several days.

Ingredients: 

1/3 cup milk
1 slice firm, fine-quality white bread, crust removed
1 pound lean beef, preferably from the neck, ground
1 tablespoon finely chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 egg
A tiny pinch of nutmeg or marjoram
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Vegetable oil
Salt
Freshly ground pepper, 3 to 4 twists of the mill
Fine, dry unflavored bread crumbs
1 cup canned Italian tomatoes, cut up, with their juice

Directions: 

Put the milk and the bread in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Mash the bread with a fork and blend it uniformly into the milk. Set aside and let cool before proceeding with the next step.

In a mixing bowl put the chopped meat, onion, parsley, egg, nutmeg or marjoram, grated Parmesan, 1 tablespoon of oil, the bread and milk mush, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Mix everything thoroughly but gently by hand.

Gently, without squeezing, shape the mixture into small round balls about 1 inch in diameter. Roll the meatballs lightly in the bread crumbs.

Choose a skillet, large enough to hold all the meatballs in a single layer, with a cover. Pour in oil until it is ¼ inch deep. Turn on the heat to medium high, and when the oil is quite hot slip in the meatballs. (Sliding them in with a broad spatula is a good way of doing it. Dropping them in will splatter hot oil over you and your kitchen floor.) Brown the meatballs on all sides, turning them carefully so that they don’t break up or stick to the pan.

When well browned turn off the heat, tip the pan slightly, and remove as much of the fat that floats to the surface as you can with a spoon. Turn on the heat to medium, add the chopped tomatoes with their juice and 34 teaspoon of salt, and turn the meatballs over once or twice with care, so that they don’t break up. Cover the skillet and cook until the tomato has thickened into sauce, about 25 minutes. While cooking, turn the meatballs over from time to time, and taste for salt.

Oven Ribs, Even Better

Servings: 4
Preheat: 200
Prep Time: 6 hours
Source: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2015/06/oven-ribs-even-better/

… I’ve been tweaking my dry rub recipe almost as long as I’ve been making it, and I think this summer, I finally got it where I wanted it — with the shortest and I hope most balanced ingredient list to date. I still make them the way Harold MacGee taught us in 2010: tightly wrapped in foil packets in the oven for many hours, but I’ve also found a lot of flexibility in the cooking time, so you can make the recipe work for you, even if you don’t have 6 hours to wait it out. At the time, I lamented that I couldn’t make them on a real outdoor grill or smoker. These days, even if I had one, I don’t even think I’d bother when they’re so low-maintenance and perfectly cooked, every time, from the oven.

For 1 5-pound rack spare ribs; we estimate about a pound of ribs per person. We tripled this recipe for our first ribs party this summer, doubled it for our second. Makes about 1 cup rub per rack. (This is a thick coating and we prefer it this way.)

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika (sweet, hot or smoked, whichever variety you prefer)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons kosher salt (Diamond brand, which is very lightweight; for most others, use 1 1/4 tablespoons; more about why here)
Chipotle powder or ground red pepper (cayenne) to taste
As many cranks of freshly ground black pepper as your arm is in for
1 5-pound rack spare ribs

To finish: 2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Directions: 

Tools: If you can find it, a wide roll of heavy-duty foil makes the racks much easier to wrap up. You’ll also want a large rack (cooking cooling sheets, so long as they’re metal and thus ovensafe, are just fine) and a large baking sheet per rack of ribs.

Heat oven to 200°F.* In a medium bowl, combine all of the spices and seasonings. On a piece of foil large enough to wrap around your ribs, place rack of ribs, meatier side up. Sprinkle half of spice rub over rack, patting it on generously, including the sides. Carefully — it can help have a second person hold the foil down while you lift the rack — flip the rack of ribs back onto the foil so that they’re now meatier side down. Pat on remaining rub. Tightly fold the foil to seal packets.

Set a metal rack (a cookie cooling sheet works well here) over a baking sheet and place foil-wrapped ribs on top. Bake for 4 hours, then reduce temperature to 175°F for 2 more hours, or until a fork easily penetrates the meat.

Open packet of ribs very carefully and pour accumulated juices into a saucepan. I find this easiest with one person lifting/tilting ribs packet and the other one snipping a corner and making sure the juices only go where you want them to. Bring the saucepan to a full boil and reduce the mixture until it becomes thicker, syrupy and will coat a spoon — usually by at least half. Stir in vinegar. This is the “barbecue sauce” for those that like it on their ribs; it will be fairly salty and I always warn people to use it judiciously.

Meanwhile, cut the ribs apart and spread them on a serving tray. For extra caramelization, you can spread them back on their baking sheet (sans rack) and run them under the broiler for a couple minutes.

Serve ribs with sauce on the side.

* Let’s talk about timing: These cooking times and temperatures, laid out by the great Harold McGee, require 6 hours. But, real life ensures that I always start them late, and while “low and slow” is the barbecue bible for a reason — you’re always going to get the best meat from the longest gentlest cooking times — you’d be pretty amazed by the results of even 3-hour ribs. Long cooking times are not an exact science. As with humans, heh, some ribs are meatier than others and will take longer. Regardless, if you’re looking for guidelines, here are some other time and temperature combinations that have worked for us in the past:

2 1/2 to 3 hours at 300°F.
3 1/2 to 4 hours at 250°F.
4 hours at 225°F

We’ve also fiddled with combinations, such as a higher temperature at the beginning, and then, upon realizing they’d be ready sooner than we’d need them, turning them down to 175°F for the remaining time. And vice-versa, starting with the low temperatures in the original recipe, and realizing at the 4 hour mark, they were coming along too slowly and finishing them at 300°F. I hope these extra options make it easier, and not more confusing, to make yours at home.

Delfina’s Spaghetti Pomodoro

Servings: 4-5
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 1 hour
Source: http://www.sfchronicle.com/food/top-100-2015/article/Recipe-Delfina-s-Spaghetti-6261408.php

Sixteen years after opening Delfina, the restaurant’s signature spaghetti remains on the menu, a simple dish with a cult following. The sauce has just a few ingredients; the secrets are preparing the canned tomatoes, and then partially cooking the pasta in water and finishing it in the sauce. You will have leftover sauce; it freezes well.

Ingredients: 

2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole plum tomatoes (such as Di Napoli)
3 cups water
5 cloves garlic, peeled
Kosher salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Hot red pepper flakes, to taste
Leaves from ½ bunch fresh basil
1 pound high-quality durum wheat spaghetti (such as Rustichella d’Abruzzo)
1½ ounces “finishing” (flavorful, high-quality) extra virgin olive oil
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions: 

Remove the tomatoes from the can, one at a time. Break each one open and scrape out the seeds with your hand, allowing the juice and seeds to fall back into the can. Drop the seeded tomatoes into a bowl.

When all of the tomatoes are seeded, break them up with your hands and strain the juice from the cans back over them. Pour the 3 cups of water into the cans, then pour that through the strainer into the bowl with the tomatoes.

Place the garlic cloves on a cutting board. Smash each one with the side of a chef’s knife and smear it slightly with a sprinkling of kosher salt.

Scrape the smashed garlic and salt into an 8-quart heavy-bottom pot. Add the olive oil, set over medium-low heat, cover and stew slowly until the garlic is soft and melted in texture but not browned, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes along with their juice and the water to the pot. Season with some salt, pepper and a touch of hot red pepper flakes. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, skimming the foam but not the oil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until the oil has emulsified with the rest of the ingredients and the sauce has reduced by approximately two thirds, about 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 2/3 of the basil leaves. You should have about 5 cups of sauce.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes — it will not be cooked through. Drain and reserve a coffee mug (8- to 12 ounces) full of the pasta cooking water.

Ladle about 3 cups of the sauce into the pasta pot. (Save the remaining 2 cups sauce for another use.) Add the partially cooked pasta to the sauce, along with about 8 ounces of the pasta cooking water and bring to a boil. Continue to cook rapidly for approximately 7 more minutes, tossing and stirring to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add more pasta water if the pasta needs to cook a little more.

This process allows the pasta to absorb some of the sauce. Additionally, the pasta releases starch which thickens the sauce and helps it cling to the pasta. This way it doesn’t run off of the spaghetti and sit on the bottom of the bowl. The last bite of pasta should bring the last bit of sauce with it.

Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste, and drizzle with the finishing extra virgin olive oil. Roughly tear the remaining basil leaves and toss them in.

Divide the between serving plates, and top with lots of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.