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Do you know which pasta dish is most popular in Italy?
If you want to answer “pasta Bolognese” know that contrary to popular belief, these are the “spaghetti with sauce” (spaghetti with tomato sauce) which is most often prepared all along the peninsula, in every family, but also in restaurants.

Olive oil, onion, tomatoes and spaghetti: although this recipe may seem very simple to make, it is not.

Despite its apparent ease, it is one of the most complicated Italian recipes to succeed.”told us Toni Muzithe executive chef at Eataly Paris, who had already given us his secrets for making good carbonara pasta.

Enhance spaghetti with a “sugo” made according to the rules of the art

In Italy we call tomato sauce “sugo”. It’s the basic sauce that everyone knows how to make. We learn it from early childhood, watching our parents and grandparents prepare it.

But what’s crazy is that using the same ingredients, the tomato sauce is never the same from one family to another. Because it is enough to measure the ingredients differently or to cook the sauce for more or less time, and you will not obtain the same result.
This is why preparing “sugo” is an art, and many Italian chefs, like Carlo Cracco, Toni Muzi and others, take pleasure in preparing it and sharing it, to enhance spaghetti.

You might think that any type of pasta can accompany a good sugo, but there is one type that lends itself particularly well: spaghetti !

After cooking, the spaghetti is perfect for soaking up the sauce. And if you wrap them correctly around the tines of a fork, as the Italians do, with each bite you will have the perfect balance between the pasta and the tomato sauce.

The best spaghetti is that drawn in a bronze mold: it has a smooth surface rough which allows the sauce to cling well to the pasta.

Choosing the right tomatoes

To make a good tomato sauce, you have to choose the right tomatoes: that’s the secret!” the chef told us.

In fact, each type of tomato has its characteristics in terms of taste, season, acidity level and sweetness, which is why the most important thing before preparing “sugo” is to choose the right ones. tomatoes” continues Toni Muzi: “In my opinion, the best tomato for preparing “sugo” is the “datterino”. This is a small, sweet, balanced tomato with lots of flavor. We use it fresh in summer and canned when it is not tomato season”.

Alternatively, we can use the San Marzano, fresh or canned. In France we also find theAndean horna tomato similar to the Italian San Marzano”. The Andean horned is a variety of French tomatoes that, like the Datterino or the San Marzano, is not acidic and has a good basic is therefore not necessary to add a touch of sugar, as some do to remove the acidity of the tomatoes when they cook the sauce”.

Cooking the “sugo” for a long time is the secret!

© Silvia Santucci

Spaghetti with sauce by chef Toni Muzi, at Eataly Paris

Toni Muzi’s spaghetti al sugo recipe is very simple as long as you make it with her tips.

For the sauce (the “sugo”):

  1. good extra virgin olive oil
  2. finely chopped onion
  3. no garlic
  4. Heat the olive oil, then add the chopped onion and brown gently
  5. when the onion becomes translucent, add the fresh or canned tomatoes cut in half, favoring Datterino or San Marzano or even retorted Andean
  6. add a little salt, a little black pepper and a few fresh basil leaves to flavor the sauce
  7. lower the heat and cook the sauce for a long time, until it thickens.

The longer you cook the sauce over low heat, the tastier it will be, because all the flavors of the ingredients will concentrate” here is another tip that the chef gave us.

Do you remove the seeds from tomatoes? “No, there is no need, because at the end of cooking we will mix the tomato sauce so that it is very smooth.“Toni Muzi told us.

  1. Boil a large quantity of water in a tall saucepan
  2. salt the water as soon as it boils with coarse salt
  3. dip the spaghetti in boiling water
  4. Stir them at first with a long spoon to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan
  5. cook the spaghetti according to the time indicated on the package
  6. drain them “al dente” in a large colander
  7. then pour them into the tomato sauce (the “sugo”) and mix well, delicately.
  8. add fresh basil and serve the spaghetti al sugo immediately.

Basil is essential for flavoring the sauce, so in summer consider freezing a few bunches to use during the winter.” Toni Muzi told us at the end of our exchange.

Now the spaghetti with sauce have no more secrets for you: to your saucepans! Buon appetito!


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