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Pasta al pomodoro (with tomato sauce) is one of my favorite basic dishes of Italian cuisine. For its useful and healthy qualities, it’s famous among Italian centenarians like one of the main dish in the Mediterranean diet. It’s important just to cook it in a correct way.
On average 100 grams of pasta al pomodoro contain:
- About 70-80 of calories
- About 15% of proteins
- About 80% of carbohydrates
- Only about 5% of vegetable fats: 0.09-0.14 grams of saturated fat, 0.08-0.17 grams of monounsaturated fats, 0.17 grams of polyunsaturated fats, maximum 1 milligram of cholesterol (this is an excellent value).
1 plate of this pasta usually weighs 250 grams and contains about 200 calories. Thanks to all the vitamins and other good elements, contained in the ingredients, this dish is an excellent solution for those who like to take care of his weight and health.
It’s really easy and quick in cooking. I want to share with you here my personal recipe, created through my numerous experiments and observations.
For 4 plates you will need:
- About 320 grams of pasta made with flour of hard varieties of wheat. In my case, I’ve chosen a fresh pasta made with semola of hard wheat called Strozzapreti. But you can easily use any other type and form of pasta.
- Peeled tomatoes, about 800 grams. You should read with attention the composition on the label: there must be indicated only FRESH TOMATOES and at list some salt.
- Fresh basil, about 10 large leaves. I suggest to cultivate it on your balcony, garden or on your windowsill.
- And, of course, you cannot do it without extra virgin olive oil. You’ll need about 30 grams or 2-3 tablespoons, but depending on your preferences you can always add more or reduce a little bit the quantity.
Gallery of main ingredients
- Salt as you like. If peeled tomatoes are already containing salt, be careful not add too much. It’s better first to taste it, and after you can decide if you want more.
Preparing the sauce al pomodoro:
You need to heat the frying pan and pour in olive oil. Usually, to prepare this sauce I’m using a frying pan with the round bottom, but in case you don’t have it, you can use another one. When the oil warms up, add tomatoes together with their juice. Previously you can cut it into pieces using a knife or a fork, or just put them in a frying pan and after while cooking and mixing cut it gently with a spoon or a turner.
Cook it, stirring well, on a small fire for about 15 minutes. For those who like the sauce to be denser, I suggest cooking without the lid, in an open frying pan, to make it evaporate the excess amount of water. I’m sure that after trying several times you’ll find your “golden mean” by density.
Then take previously washed leaves of fresh basil, add to a sauce and continue cooking again for 15 minutes. Mix it thoroughly, adding a few of salt, so that tomato with olive oil can turn into a more homogeneous substance as possible. During this time the basil will leave to a sauce its delicious fragrance. After, when the sauce is ready, before serving plates you can remove the leaves of basil.
On this step, you should decide if you would like to add more olive oil or if it’s already enough according to you. You can make some experiments by adding a little bit and trying, I just don’t recommend to overdo it.
While cooking the sauce you should start to prepare pasta. For this, as usual, heat the water in a large pot. When it boils, add salt and pasta. On the package find instructions about how many minutes it needs to be cooked. It should be al dente, that means slightly hard and elastic when biting. For this reason, I usually advise start tasting it 3 minutes before the end of the time specified on the packaging not to boil it too much.
When everything is ready, put a portion of pasta on a plate, decorate it with the sauce and, if you want, you can also sprinkle it with chopped Parmigiano cheese. All this together is turning into a perfect harmony of taste. Just remember, the cheese will raise up a number of calories of the dish.
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