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Cavatelli with Pulcinella's Almost-Instant Tomato Sauce

Anthony Contrino
Cook Time:
5 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins
Servings:
2
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(18)

Chef notes

While in Naples, I took a cooking class with the head chef of Pulcinella, a restaurant named after the famed Neapolitan mask. After heading downstairs into the cramped kitchen, he cracked open a can of DOP San Marzano tomatoes and taught me how to make this simple but flavorful sauce.

This sauce is all about the tomatoes, and it is very heavy on the sauce, which is meant to be mopped up with some good bread after you finish the pasta.

Swap option: Use potato gnocchi instead of cavatelli.

Ingredients

  • 1 (14.1-ounce) can DOP San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup peppery extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, halved lengthwise
  • 15 medium-sized basil leaves, torn
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 pound fresh cavatelli, cooked to al dente

Preparation

1.

Season the San Marzano tomatoes with salt and pepper.

2.

In a medium-sized saucepan, warm the oil and garlic over medium-high heat.

3.

When the garlic begins to get some color around the edges, remove it with a slotted spoon; discard.

3.

Add the basil and swirl to combine.

4.

Add the tomatoes, swirl to combine, cover and cook until the tomatoes have softened, for about 4 minutes; remove from the heat.

5.

Using a wooden spoon, crush the tomatoes to create a sauce.

6.

Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl, then add the cheese and pasta; toss to combine.

7.

Season with salt, as needed.

8.

Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano.