Cate O’Malley, Paper Palate – Given her beauty, it was only a matter of time before Food Network chef Giada De Laurentiis landed in a men’s magazine. After all, if perennially perky cook Rachael Ray can end up on the pages of FHM, why not Giada? And she did, in the August issue of Esquire, talking about her favorite tomato sauce and how many tomatoes she goes through on an average day.
In case you’re curious, she uses about two thirty-two ounce cans of tomatoes daily and says, “Canned tomatoes are packaged when they’re the ripest and the sweetest, so there’s really no reason to go with fresh.”
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 small onions, finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
• 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
• 2 32-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
• 2 dried bay leaves
In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sauté until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
Makes about 2 quarts.
How to get the sauce to stick to the pasta
“Before you strain the pasta, save 1/4 cup of the pasta water,” says De Laurentiis. “Then drain the pasta, add a little Parmesan cheese, then add your tomato sauce — and then mix in the reserved pasta water. The starches in the water help the sauce stick. It comes out really nice and creamy.”
Photo from Esquire.