This, Mario Batali wrote in 2013 in The Times, is one of his late-night favorites. Its uncomplicated nature lends itself to an after-midnight feast. It’s basically pasta with tomato sauce and cheese, but red pepper flakes give the sauce a delicious kick.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 3tablespoons kosher salt
- 4tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 4 more tablespoons
- ½cup tomato paste
- 1tablespoon hot red-pepper flakes
- 1 ½cups chopped tomatoes, like Pomì
- 1pound penne
- Maldon or other flaky sea salt
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
Step 1Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt.
Step 2Meanwhile, put 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, and then add the tomato paste and pepper flakes; reduce the heat to low and stir just until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and remove from the heat.
Step 3Drop the pasta into the boiling water, and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
Step 4Add the pasta and the reserved pasta water to the tomato sauce, stir and toss over medium heat until the pasta is well coated. Season with salt if necessary, then add the remaining oil, tossing well. Serve immediately, with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on the side.