This incredibly light tomato sauce can be served with a variety of dishes, from pasta to a fish stew. Mint brings a refreshing twist to classic tomato sauce. Use the freshest, ripest tomatoes that you can find; your best bet is to peruse farmers' markets for the best tomatoes.
Adapted from "Recipes for Parties" by Michael Leva and Nancy Parker.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ red onions, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons flaked sea salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pinches of peperoncino
- Two 28-ounce cans whole plum tomatoes in tomato purée, preferably San Marzano
- 1 bunch basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
- 1 bunch mint leaves, cut into chiffonade
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- Fresh Fettuccine or two 17 ½-ounce packages imported dried fettuccine
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus 1 cup for serving
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the flaked sea salt, pepper, and peperoncino. Roughly cut the tomatoes with kitchen shears and pour them, along with the tomato purée, into the saucepan of onions. Stir the onions and tomatoes to combine and add a handful of basil and a handful of mint. Lower the heat and leave the sauce to simmer.
In a large skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Fill a large pot with water and the coarse sea salt. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. Cover and bring back to boil. Stir once and leave to cook; fresh pasta will take 2-3 minutes, and dried pasta will take approximately 10 minutes. Drain the cooked pasta, and stir it through the sauce. Sprinkle with the cheese, walnuts, and remaining mint, and basil. Serve immediately.