Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Spaghetti with red sauce is great on a cool day

Spaghetti and red sauce, ragù alla Bolognese to the Italians, or meat sauce, is a good comfort food that can be made simply.

The sauce can be a quick cooked, fresh tomato sauce that speaks to the flavor of the garden fresh red tomato (but that's not Bolognese), or the long-cooked ragu style sauce that is deep and rich.

I like to think of one as a summer recipe and the other as a hearty fall/winter recipe.

A point often overlooked by home cooks is the quality of pasta that is available. It runs the gamut from poor to outstanding, and you won’t notice that much of a difference in price.

My favorite pasta that is available locally is Riscossa, made in Italy, and oh so flavorful and a delightful texture. Try this brand with just a little butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and you will never go back to your old brand.

Here is a simple red sauce to try with your new-found pasta.

Red Sauce

1 can best quality whole tomatoes

1 small chopped red onion

1 small chopped bell pepper

2-3 cloves diced garlic

1 glass red wine

small bunch fresh basil


Red pepper flakes

Sauté the onion and bell pepper in olive oil for 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add the red wine and reduce by half, then add the tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the  Parmigiano-Reggiano and simmer 5 minutes more. Plate the pasta (just cook it according to the package directions), top with sauce, but not so much it swims, garnish with basil and lots more Parmigiano-Reggiano.