Have Scarpetta Spaghetti Sauce at Home
Scarpetta makes the best spaghetti and marinara that I have ever had before, and I was so excited when Chef Scott Conant shared the recipe with Good Morning America. You can see his recipe and comments by clicking here, or you can see the recipe below as well. I tried making it recently and it was delicious! I have to say though, that the amounts of butter, cheese and basil seemed off, but after making the recipe, it seems that his amounts for butter, cheese and basil are for one serving, not for the entire recipe. I added in my own notes below because my cooking process didn’t 100% match what he said would happen.
Keep in mind that because this is such a simple recipe, you really want to use good ingredients. Make sure to splurge on a good cheese, rather than use Kraft parmesan in the shaker, be sure to use ripe tomatoes and use fresh basil, not dried. It’s extremely important because what makes this recipe so great is that everything tastes so fresh and alive in your mouth.
I will say that I didn’t make a homemade pasta, which is why it didn’t taste exactly like the spaghetti at Scarpetta, and obviously not as good, but it was still a fantastic dish. I am ecstatic that he shared it with everyone. This is something you will definitely want to try making at home.
-About 20 ripe plum tomatoes
-About 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to finish the dish
-Pinch of crushed red pepper
-Black pepper, freshly ground
-1 tablespoon unsalted butter (I use this for one serving)
-1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated (about 1/2 cup) (I use this for one serving)
-6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, well washed and dried, stacked and rolled into a cylinder and cut thinly crosswise into a chiffonade (I use this for one serving)
-1 pound spaghetti, either high-quality dry or homemade
To peel the tomatoes: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a large bowl of ice water nearby.
Cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato.
Ease about five tomatoes in the pot and cook, let boil for about 15 seconds, and then promptly move them to the waiting ice water. (Do this with the remaining tomatoes.)
Pull off the skin with the tip of a paring knife. If the skin sticks, try a vegetable peeler using a gentle sawing motion. Cut the tomatoes in half and use your finger to flick out the seeds.
To cook the tomatoes: In a wide pan, heat the 1/3 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat until quite hot. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and season lightly with the salt and pepper. (I always start with a light hand with the salt and pepper because as the tomatoes reduce, the salt will become concentrated.) Let the tomatoes cook for a few minutes to soften. Then, using a potato masher, chop the tomatoes finely (I didn’t have a masher and used a whisk to crush it and it worked out find). Cook the tomatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened (I had to cook mine a lot longer). (You can make the sauce, which yields about 3 cups, ahead of time (I ended up with 3 jars). Refrigerate it for up to 2 days or freeze it for longer storage.)
To serve: Bring a large pot of amply salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until just shy of al dente. Reserve a little of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and cook over medium-high heat, gently tossing the pasta and the sauce together with a couple of wooden spoons and a lot of exaggerated movement (you can even shake the pan) until the pasta is just tender and the sauce, if any oil had separated from it, now looks cohesive. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little pasta cooking liquid to adjust it. Take the pan off of the heat and toss the butter, basil, and cheese with the pasta in the same manner (the pasta should take on an orange hue) and serve immediately.
Updated note: Sorry! I forgot to mention that for myself, after I toss it, I always top with more cheese and fresh basil.