A few weeks ago, my family and I ventured to New Jersey to see the newest addition to our family. In January, my sister-in-law and her family welcomed a new bouncing baby boy and this was our opportunity to meet the handsome guy. I came very close to sending my husband and son out there by themselves because my alma-mater, Wichita State had just made it to the Final Four in Atlanta. After waivering back and forth (the devil on one shoulder stating “This may be the only time in your life WSU is in the Final Four” and the angel on the other shoulder saying “Nothing is more important than family”), I decided that family does come first and accompanied them to the Garden State. It was great to see my sister-in-law and her family (also my in-laws and husband’s aunt and uncle) and it was great to visit an amazing place called Eataly.
On Sunday, we decided to venture into NYC and my sister-in-law wanted us to go to Eataly. She has talked about this place numerous times and her husband also raved about it–which means a lot because he is from an Italian family. I had heard of Eataly (what kind of cookbook collector would I be if I didn’t know Mario Batali and Joe Bastainich-Lidia’s Bastainich’s son–had opened a fabulous Italian Market in NYC) and I was super excited to check it out. We had lunch at the restaurant on the roof and ate the most amazing italian salumi and cheese, then we went down to experience the market. It was incredible to see all the imported meats, cheeses, fresh and dried pastas, cookbooks and italian sweets all in one place! We saw ingredients and cookware that we haven’t seen since our trip to Italy a few years back. We made our purchase and prepared ourselves to experience authentic Italian ingredients once we returned home. We had bought an italian dried pasta that we couldn’t wait to try once we got home. As I learned in Italy, good pasta doesn’t always need a lot of ingredients, just good quality ingredients!
Fusilli with Simple Tomato Sauce
2 28oz cans San Marzano Tomatoes
1/2 large onion finely chopped
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt/Pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus more to garnish
Pecorino Romano or Parmesan to garnish.
In a dutch oven, heat pan over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add white wine and cook until reduced in half. Add San Marzano tomatoes and then reduce heat and cook for 1 hour. *After one hour, using a immersion blender puree the sauce until smooth. Add salt and pepper to season to your liking. Add chopped basil and pasta to sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes. (You can thin the sauce with reserved pasta water if sauce is too thick) Garnish with fresh basil and cheese.
Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water. ( I was taught in Italy that the water should be as salty as sea water and some Italian chefs on the coasts will actually cook their pasta in water from the sea). 1-2 minutes before pasta is done, drain pasta, reserving some of the water the pasta was cooked in, and add pasta to sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
*You can also use a regular blender and puree in batches, just make sure you remove the top and cover it with a kitchen towel or else you will redecorate your kitchen ceilings with pasta sauce!