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Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Score the bottom of the tomatoes with a shallow “X” then carefully add to the pot and boil for 30 seconds. Remove tomatoes to a colander then place a lid on top of the pot and turn heat down to low to keep warm.
Once tomatoes aren’t hot to the touch, peel away and discard the skins. Chop tomatoes then add – juices, seeds and all – to a bowl and set aside.
Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet with high sides or medium-sized Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots then saute under tender, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic then saute until very fragrant but not browned, 30 seconds.
Add chopped tomatoes and sugar then stir to combine and simmer until sauce reaches desired consistency, 25-30 minutes, smashing tomatoes against the sides and bottom of the skillet with a spatula every so often and turning the heat down if necessary to reduce splattering.
During the last 5 minutes of the cooking process, tear in fresh basil leaves and add butter, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine then taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
When the sauce has 15 minutes left to cook, bring the pot of water back to a boil then add 1 Tablespoon salt. Add spaghetti then cook until al dente and drain. Scoop cooked pasta into bowls then top with desired amount of pomodoro sauce and parmesan cheese, if using. OR:
If you’d prefer to finish cooking the pasta in the sauce (vs draining it and serving the sauce on top) use tongs to transfer the pasta when it’s just shy of al dente into the sauce then stir and cook until al dente. You may need to add a splash of pasta cooking water if necessary to cook the pasta all the way through.