National Pasta Day | Homemade Chunky Tomato Sauce
What can I really say about National Pasta Day other than it’s bound to be one of my favorite days ever? You can have so much versatility from one pasta dish to another and plus, I’m Italian so basically I was born loving pasta. When it comes to basic red sauces (that are usually anything but basic), you can be on the sweet side or the more acidic side. You can have alfredo, basil pesto, vodka sauce, and more. So many sauces, so many accompaniments to the noodle. Today, I used a corkscrew pasta noodle and made a homemade chunky tomato sauce. Of course, I added some spice to it with the addition of a generous amount of red pepper flakes, but that’s just my household’s preference.
You’ll also find grated Pecorino Romano cheese in the recipe. When it comes to cheese for a pasta topping, pecorino romano has no comparison. It’s just the best. Of course for me, it invokes some nostalgia, too. Not only does my grandfather grate a container of this cheese for our bi-monthly family pasta dinner, but his mother, my great grandma Lucy, did the same thing every Sunday afternoon we visited her as a family after church, which was nearly every single week.
You could smell the pasta sauce from the car and we’d eat out of the same plastic bowls every time. With the same cheese – Pecorino Romano – grated, and sitting there in the center of the table. It’s the only one of the grating cheeses that I can eat chunks of.
If you’re making a homemade pasta sauce, chances are it’ll taste different every time. The recipe I have below is just my estimate of the amount of ingredients. The beauty of making pasta sauce from scratch is that you can taste and adjust as you go. I’ve made this sauce so often that I just throw about the same amount of the same ingredients together, but no measuring takes place. Go ahead – make it your own!
Homemade Chunky Tomato Sauce
- 1/2 pound (8 ounces) corkscrew pasta, or any tube pasta
- 4 plum tomatoes, peeled and deseeded
- 1/3 cup canned tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 Tbsp red pepper flakes
- Small pinch each of salt and pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
- 1/8 cup fresh curly leaf parsley, chopped
- Peel and deseed tomatoes as shown in the video linked in the ingredients list. Place in a bowl and use a potato masher to break down the tomato. Leave some chunks in tact.
- In a pan set over medium heat, add the olive oil. Let heat, then add onion and garlic until garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Halfway through the sauce cooking time, add the pasta into a pot of salted boiling water. Remove and drain when pasta is al dente.
- In a large bowl or pot, combine sauce and pasta; mix. Add Pecorino Romano and stir to combine throughout pasta. Remove from heat and add in chopped parsley. Mix thoroughly.