The 15th Annual Food & Wine Classic at Aspen

Tomato and Anchovy Sauce

For serving, the first choice would be thin spaghetti, spaghettini, to which the only satisfactory alternative is the thicker, standard spaghetti.

Makes enough sauce for 1 pound pasta

1. Put the garlic in a saucepan, and bring it to a lively simmer.

2. Put the garlic and oil in a saute pan and another saucepan, turn the heat to medium, and cook and stir the garlic until it becomes colored a very pale gold.

3. Place the pan with the garlic and oil over the saucepan of simmering water, double-boiler fashion. Add the chopped anchovies, stirring and mashing them against the sides of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon until they begin to dissolve into a paste. Return the pan with the anchovies to the burner over medium heat and cook for half a minute or less, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes, sale and a few grindings of pepper, and adjust the heat so that the sauce cooks at a gentle, but steady simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the oil floats free from the tomatoes. Stir form time to time. (The sauce may be prepared several hours in advance and gently reheated when the pasta is nearly ready to be drained and tossed. Do not refrigerate.)

4. Toss cooked drained pasta with the entire contents of the saucepan, turning the strands so that they are thoroughly coated. Add the chopped parsley, toss once more and serve immediately.

Spaghettini Col Sugo di Erbe e Pomodoro Crudo

A popular, nostalgic image of Italian cooking is that of a portly, grand- motherly woman stirring and simmering sauce for hours. Fortunately, it is only a fantasy. Of the thousands of pasta sauces, only a few take more than 15 to 20 minutes. This sauce for maccheroncini doesn't take even 1 minute.

The secret of its sprightly, fragrant flavor is that the herbs and tomatoes of which it is composed are virtually raw. They never see the inside of a saucepan but go directly into the serving bowl where they are splashed with hot olive oil. It is in that brief second or two, while the heat is a flash point, that the fruity scent of the sizzling olive oil is fused to the fresh aromas of the five herbs and the tomato. The texture of the tomato is practically unaltered, staying as juicy and firm as when it was cut up. The forthright style of the sauce agrees well with the sturdiness of macaroni pasta, either in tubular shapes or in the solid ones, like spaghetti or spaghettini.

4 to 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, or 3 to 4 dried leaves, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 teaspoons fresh rosemary chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 pound spaghettini
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Wash the tomatoes, split them in half and remove the seeds. Dice the tomatoes. Put the tomatoes, basil, sage, parsley, rosemary and mint in the bowl where you'll be tossing and serving the pasta.

2. Drop the spaghettini into a pot of abundant boiling salted water.

3. When the pasta is nearly done, put the olive oil in a small saucepan and turn the heat to high. When the oil is smoking, pour it over the tomatoes and herbs in the in the serving bowl; it should be hot enough to sizzle as it hits the contents of the bowl. Add salt, a few grindings of pepper and mix well.

4. When the pasta is done--it should be barely tender but firm to the bite--- drain it well and transfer it immediately to the bowl, tossing it thoroughly with all the ingredients.

Serve promptly.

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