Spaghetti with Nana's Red Sauce
"This is a Sarno staple that brings me back to my childhood. We pull it out whenever we need a quick meal. With garlic bread, salad, and a bottle of red, it's the perfect go-to dinner on weeknights. I could eat it five days a week." —Chad
- Nana Sarno's Red Sauce (recipe below)
- Sea salt
- 1 pound your favorite dried spaghetti or spaghettini
- Chile flakes, optional
- Chopped, fresh basil, optional
- Plant-based Parmesan, such as from Follow Your Heart, optional
Be sure that Nana's sauce is in a pot on the stove on low heat.
Bring at least 1 gallon water to a boil in a large pot. Season the water with 2 tablespoons salt. (A large pot with plenty of water helps to keep the pasta from sticking, and the salt helps season the pasta and create a chewy yet tender al dente texture.) Add the pasta to the water, fanning it out. Give it a stir, then return the water to a boil and cook until the pasta is tender yet chewy when you bite into a piece, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally with tongs to prevent sticking. Strain in a colander. The sauce will cling to the pasta better if you don't rinse it.
There are two ways to serve spaghetti: Mix the pasta into the sauce in the pan, then transfer to a pasta bowl; or put the pasta in a bowl and pour the sauce on top. Most chefs like the former because you can meld the pasta and sauce together over low heat. But my kids pour their sauce on top because they don't like too much sauce. I'm not going to argue with them. Finish with a sprinkle of chile flakes, basil, and some Parmesan.