Pasta and Tomato Sauce with Bacon and Parsley

Published May 1, 1997.

Why this recipe works:

Given that good fresh tomatoes are a rare commodity and that we wanted a tomato sauce recipe that home cooks could use year-round, we decided to use canned tomatoes. After conducting a number of tests, we determined the crucial ingredients to be garlic, olive oil, salt, and sugar. We… read more

Given that good fresh tomatoes are a rare commodity and that we wanted a tomato sauce recipe that home cooks could use year-round, we decided to use canned tomatoes. After conducting a number of tests, we determined the crucial ingredients to be garlic, olive oil, salt, and sugar. We discovered that a garlic puree, diluted with water and sautéed briefly in olive oil, provided a mild, even garlic flavor while greatly reducing the possibility of overcooking the garlic.

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Dresses 3/4 pound pasta; serves 3

If you use whole canned tomatoes, avoid those packed in sauce or puree, which results in a dull, relatively flavorless sauce without the interplay of sweetness and acidity. If you choose Muir Glen Diced Tomatoes instead, use the can's entire contents, without discarding any liquid. The pasta and sauce quantities can be doubled, but you will have to simmer the sauce for an extra five or six minutes to thicken it. If you do not have a garlic press, mince the garlic very fine and sauté it for one minute rather than two. Note that the salt in this recipe is added in two batches; if you are using the sauce for something other than pasta, simply salt to taste rather than adding the second quantity of salt. Although 3/4 of a pound of pasta may seem an odd quantity, a full pound of pasta will dilute the sauce, resulting in a lack of flavor.

Ingredients

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