Chef's Note: Even after we opened Carmine’s, Michael Ronis and the other partners kept up the habit of eating at Italaian restaurants in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and the other boroughs of the city where the pasta pomodoro was, we had to admit, a little better than ours. Why? We served a glorious simple dish at the restaurant, using the best Italian tomatoes, lots of garlic, parsley, basil, and olive oil, and our pasta was top-notch! But something kept it from going over the top. Finally, we realized it was the oil slick. To be really, really, really good, pomodoro demands lots of oil. We use a quarter cup olive oil for four servings, which puts our pomodoro right over the top. Try it!
- ¼ cup California Olive Ranch extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 ounce fresh prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 7 fresh basil leaves, sliced
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- One 20-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, drained
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces dried rigatoni, spaghetti or penne
Directions Step 1: In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat, add the garlic, and cook it stirring, for about 1 minute or until it is golden brown. Take care not to let the garlic burn. Add the prosciutto, the basil, the bay leaf, and 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Cook the mixture, stirring, for 30 seconds. Raise the heat to high, add the wine, and cook it for about 10 seconds or until the wine is well mixed.
Step 2: Add the tomatoes and, using a wooden spoon or long-handled fork, break them up as they cook. Bring the sauce to a boil. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer it briskly for 2 to 3 minutes or until the liquid reduces by half.
Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Meanwhile, in a large pot filled with boiling salted water, cook the pasta for 7 to 8 minutes or until it is al dente. The cooking time will vary depending on the type of pasta.
Step 4: Drain the pasta well and transfer it to a shallow bowl or platter. Bring the sauce to a boil and immediately ladle it over the pasta and serve the dish garnished with the remaining tablespoon of parsley.
Recipe credit: Carmine's Family Style Cookbook (St. Martin's Press, 2008), by Michael Ronis with Mary Goodbody
Reprinted with permission from the publisher