March 2024

Pasta With Jason's Red Sauce

serves 4 to 6


3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped or sliced into thin strips
1/2 medium onion, diced
red pepper flakes, optional
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 oz pasta of your choice
1/4 freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and/or Pecorino Romano


In a medium saucepan, melt two tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, half the basil, the onion, red pepper flakes (if using), and about one tablespoon of the olive oil. Cook until the onion is translucent but not browned. Add the tomato paste, cook for another minute, then add the can of tomatoes. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the sauce as much as you like to break up the tomatoes. Simmer the sauce, adding salt and black pepper to taste, for about fifteen minutes. Add the final tablespoon of butter for good luck. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat (add the salt before the water begins to boil). Add the pasta and cook until it is just shy of al dente (usually a minute or to less than the directions on the package indicate). Drain the pasta (but do not rinse it), and transfer to the saucepan, stirring it in. Cover with the cheese, drizzle another tablespoon of olive oil over, and sprinkle with the rest of the basil, then serve.

Img 1542