It’s Friday night. You’re tired after a long week of work and all you want is something that’s comforting and easy, requires no real thinking and tastes pretty darn delicious. My go-to for those sort of cravings is usually a pasta.

Last night, this recipe, which I found years ago and have had stashed away in my recipe book, fit the bill. It’s a flavorful sauce of roasted garlic, canned tomatoes and butter (which makes everything tastes a little more decadent). It’s SO easy to throw together and could be doubled if feeding a crowd. I love simple recipes like this and am glad I dug it out. This will definitely be one I make again, when either short on time or just plain lazy in the kitchen.

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Ingredients:

  • 28 oz canned whole peeled tomatoes (I prefer San Marzano)
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb bucatini (the recipe calls for bucatini which is a hollow long pasta (like a spaghetti but thicker with a hole) – I used pici pasta but you could really use any pasta you have on hand
  • freshly ground parmesan, for serving
  • 1 tsp of sugar (if needed)

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine tomatoes (crush them with your hands or cut up in chunks with two knives), garlic, butter and red pepper flakes into a medium size baking dish (a 8″ x 8″ glass dish would work for this just fine I’d imagine). I used an even smaller dish which worked as well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roast, stirring tomato mixture a few times as it cooks, until garlic is soft and sweet – about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, salt your pasta water like the sea and boil. About 10 minutes before tomatoes are done, add pasta to your water and cook til al dente.

When tomatoes are done, use a potato masher to break up the tomatoes a bit more. Taste and adjust for seasoning. I added a little sugar as sometimes straight tomatoes can have a tiny acidic taste. I find the sugar mellows that out perfectly.

Drain your pasta MAKING SURE TO RESERVE 1/2 CUP OF THE THE PASTA WATER.

Return pasta to the pot and toss with the tomato sauce and reserved water. Cook over medium high heat until the sauce coats the pasta evenly.

Add in as much parmesan cheese as you’d like and give everything a big stir. Feel free to garnish with some fresh basil leaves. That’s it! Buon appetito!

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