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Pasta al Pomodoro

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You know it is Lent when fast-food restaurants start advertising fish sandwiches. Somehow Lent showed-up even though I am completely unprepared. What are my Lenten disciplines for this year? Giving up cursing, preaching without a script and no meat on Fridays. They may not seem hard to you but trust me, they are to me.

Trying not to curse and preaching without a script are new this year but I follow the Lenten discipline of meatless Fridays every year. We have a pretty carnivorous household so it can get creative. Even if you aren’t practicing this discipline I recommend this recipe. My husband LOVES pasta and I’ll devour anything with garlic. It was featured in Bon Apetit back in May of last year. I’ve altered the recipe a little to make it easier for weeknight dinners or just lazy cooks like myself.

Pasta al Pomodoro


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 large fresh basil sprigs (it’s the middle of winter and my basil went south a long time ago so I used dried, just put it in when you salt the sauce)
  • 12 oz. spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp. cubed unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino

Heat olive oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-low heat. Add minced onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-4 minutes. Increase heat to medium, add tomatoes and season lightly with kosher salt (if you are using dried basil throw it in now); cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in basil sprigs, and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil. Season with salt; add spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.

Discard basil and heat skillet over high heat. Stir in reserved pasta water to loosen sauce; bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add butter and cheese; toss until cheese melts.

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About Meg

I stress-bake, a lot. When I'm not doing that I'm an Episcopal priest, wife, and mom. Have a recipe that just might lower my blood pressure or at least make my house smell good? I'd love to try it!

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