We make John’s Sauce on the regular, but every now and then I like to mix it up and try different versions of a marinara sauce.
There are no onions or black pepper in this recipe, and the garlic cloves are removed after it toasts in the olive oil.
Once the sauce was ready, I topped the pasta (I use rigatoni here) with a nice spoonful of fresh ricotta (you have to use fresh!) and shavings of Pecorino Romano. The Pecorino Romano is a bit saltier and tangier than Parmigiano Reggiano and the ricotta adds a nice creaminess to the pasta. Delicious!
If you happen to have any leftover sauce, you can store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- One 28 ounce can of whole plum tomatoes in juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, slightly crushed
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 4-5 basil leaves, torn into pieces
- 1 pound rigatoni
- Fresh ricotta
- Freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- Pour tomatoes in a large bowl and crush into pieces with your hands, removing the hard end where the stem originally was
- Heat oil in a heavy pan or pot over medium heat
- Add garlic and cook in oil until cloves are golden, about 5 minutes. Discard
- Add red pepper and cook for another minute
- Add tomatoes and a large pinch of salt, stir to combine and cook for another 20-25 minutes until sauce has thickened
- Taste the sauce to see if you need any more salt
- Once complete, remove from heat, add basil and mix to combine
- Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente in a large pot of salted boiling water, then drain
- Add pasta to sauce, mix to combine
- Serve immediately and top each plate with a spoonful of fresh ricotta and shavings of Pecorino Romano