In a world where we're always seeking out the new,making and remaking an old favorite has the advantage of propelling us towards perfection.
That's what happened when Alex and I made pasta with tomato sauce a weekly dinner staple,its assembly a cherished routine.He makes the sauce,and I assemble the dish.As he's grown to know exactly how the garlic should look and smell when you're ready to add the tomatoes,I've determined the right scale of acidity to richness (olive oil,parmesan),and how to melt mozzarella in the bottom of the bowl so each forkful of pasta includes a cheese pull.这些天,我们的番茄酱意大利面做得很好，because of a few particular ingredients and techniques.
我知道这听起来很简单，even trivial,the idea of going through a dish that a lot of you could make in your sleep in such detail.但随着一些额外的繁荣和对时间的掌握，I think you can transform a ho hum dinner into the kind of food that reminds you why you cook,why you eat,为什么你很少需要点外卖。
For a two-person dinner and leftovers,you'll need 3/4 pound of pasta (any shape),one 28-ounce can of whole plum tomatoes,洋葱as much garlic as you can stand peeling,一大块磨碎的帕尔姆，and some good olive oil (if you care).我有时会把意大利干酪放在意大利面里，但是没有这道菜也不错。
Here's the step by step.
Salt a big pot of water really well and bring it to boil.我听说水的味道应该像大海一样，or that you should taste the salt.实际上，我从来没有喝过水，而是用视觉量来代替。You want a lot of salt.
Make whatever sauce you love (here's ours: sauté onion in olive oil;add garlic;add oregano and salt;将整个西红柿与果汁混合或切碎，用文火炖至变软。同时开始煮沸水，然后把酱汁放在一个大煎锅里，在意大利面旁边炖。Put in the spaghetti when the sauce is almost done,但是如果你早点吃完酱汁，把调味料的火关了，直到意大利面做好。
整个番茄的原因是它们保存了最多的味道；blend or chop them before adding to the sauce.The reason for the pan's big surface is that your garlic and onion cook will best,and,more importantly,所有的意大利面都能放进锅里。
只要意大利面有凹痕，scoop it right from the pot of boiling water into the pan of simmering sauce.Don't worry about carrying over some of the cooking water.In fact,you want plenty to cling to the strands.That water will add flavor (from the salt) and body (from the starch) to your sauce.
Now,stir together until the sauce really coats the pasta.如果酱汁太浓，连意大利面都粘不上的话，再浇些开水。
当酱和意大利面混合在一起时，把磨碎的帕尔姆直接扔进锅里。I'll use close to a cup–loosely packed,当然。This is when I usually turn off the heat and toss everything together.The parm makes the sauced pasta almost creamy.
画龙点睛？A pour of good olive oil.脂肪使酱汁有点乳化，rounding out the flavors,增加迷人的光泽。在这里，你用干净的叉子包意大利面，品尝你的作品，如果你还没有。Balance the flavors,如果他们需要平衡。更多的盐水，更多的PARM，更多的橄榄油都是潜在的下一步行动。
如果我用的是意大利干酪，I tear it up into small-ish bite-sized pieces and place them into the bottom of my bowl.最聪明的是，我记得在开始烹饪的时候把墨兹从冰箱里拿出来。把它放在室温下有助于确保它们在我做下一件事的时候融化：把一份热意大利面放在干酪上。And then,这是最困难的部分，按时间顺序，of the whole enterprise.I wait for about two minutes,as the pasta's heat melts the mozzarella into creamy,gooey jackpots.
At the same time,the sauce is sinking further into the pasta strands,deepening the flavors.
Then I dig in,I'm in search of a bite of gooey mozzarella to go along with my well-seasoned,slightly oily,还有一口美味的意大利面。When fork reaches mouth,I think,always: "this is what pasta should be."