The Crowd-Pleasing Fall Spaghetti Anyone Can Make

Fall Spaghetti
Fall SpaghettiCourtesy of Scarpetta NYC

Summer is all about salads and sorbets, Pilsners and prawns. But as the leaves turn this fall, chances are you’re thinking it’s time to make something heartier. And you’re right. But making a rich, flavorful entrée doesn’t mean you have to roundup obscure ingredients and execute difficult cooking techniques.

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Instead, make this easy pasta dish you’ll be repeating for laidback dinners for months to come and take the lead of Chef Jorge Espinosa of Scarpetta, NYC. The NoMad restaurant buzzes with energy — from plants lining the ceiling to a live jazz band during weekend brunch — and this dish captures that buoyancy in the form of a warming bowl of spaghetti. Relying only on pantry ingredients and a few fresh additions (garlic, basil, fresh cheese), it’s fall comfort food in the best way possible. P.S. The slow-simmered sauce leaves you plenty of time to catch a football game or plan that fall adventure getaway.


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Prep time

20 minutes min.

Cook time

2 hours min.

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 lbs Roma tomatoes
  • 14 oz. can San Marzano tomatoes, whole peeled
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch chili flakes
  • 4 basil leaves, whole
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 2 basil leaves, chiffonade
Blanch tomatoes and shock in ice water. Remove skin and discard. Deseed the tomatoes and strain the liquid from the seeds. Discard the seeds. In a heavy bottom pan, add the fresh tomatoes. Add canned tomatoes and the sea salt. Cook over low heat. Using a potato masher, break up the tomatoes and continue cooking. Repeat. Continue cooking and reduce by ¼, about 1 ½ hours.
As the tomatoes cook, add garlic, chili flakes and oil to a small pot. Cook the garlic over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove from heat and add basil. Allow the four basil leaves to steep for 15 minutes. Strain the oil into the tomato sauce base. Immediately cool and reserve.
Upon cooking pasta, place sauce in a sauté pan, bring to a simmer, then add al dente pasta to the sauce and cook all together for one minute. Add grated parmigiano and chiffonade basil, toss well and serve.