Author Notes: Although there's no improving on Marcella's classic marinara sauce, there is certainly room to experiment! This version of the recipe is adapted to roast fresh roma tomatoes in a hot oven with onions, butter and anchovies - which creates a complex, deep flavor that is both smoothly rich and acidic. Slightly crushing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon at the end of roasting leaves a fun texture to eat with your preferred pasta shape. I used rigatoni here, but this sauce can shine on most shapes: fusilli, penne, even spaghetti! Top with freshly grated parmigiana cheese and torn fresh basil, if handy. ENJOY!
Wine Pairing Recommendation: Medium-bodied red to balance the acid, like an Italian Primitivo, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo or even a Barbera.
(Made with love by Kate Sinnott, Lauren DeMattia and taste-tested-&-approved by Jenna Agins) —Kate
Serves: 4 people
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 50 min
Roma Tomatoes, final number of tomatoes depending on their size
pinches Salt, add more to taste
pinches Pepper, add more to taste
cup Parmigiana Cheese, grated
dashes Extra Virgin Olive Oil, more if needed
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and quarter the roma tomatoes, adding them face up (seed side) into a roasting dish.
- Chop a yellow onion into a large dice, and scatter among the tomatoes in the roasting dish.
- Chop and distribute the two anchovies (along with some of their oil - I use Cento flat fillet anchovies, but feel free to use any brand), adding to the tomatoes & onion.
- Cube the 7 tablespoons of butter and evenly distribute throughout the dish. Add a few generous dashes of olive oil, salt and pepper and toss gently. Put in the oven for 50 minutes, tossing 2-3 times throughout the cooking process.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, boil salted water. Add in 2/3 pound of your favorite pasta (I used rigatoni here), and cook to al dente. Before draining, preserve a cup of the pasta water.
- Once the tomatoes are sufficiently roasted (you should see some beautiful dark coloration around the sides of the tomatoes), add them into the now empty pasta pot, toss back in the cooked pasta and some dashes of the pasta water, and let simmer together for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve pasta in a bowl and top with grated parmigiana cheese, torn basil leaves & fresh ground black pepper, if desired. Buon Appetito!