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6-Ingredient Tomato Sauce with Rigatoni

So, I got a promotion at work and, while I am enjoying the additional responsibilities and challenges, I’ve been bummed that I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to cook. I know you’re probably surprised considering that I normally post a recipe a few times a week…but I am not joking when I say that I’ve literally eaten take-out 13 days in a row. I’m utterly ashamed. What little free-time I have has been spent watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and eating the worst food imaginable.

That being said, I decided to ease back into cooking with a super simple tomato sauce with rigatoni that we just devoured. This is definitely a low ‘n slow sauce and we actually watched a great Italian film, Il Posto, as it cooked. This 6-ingredient tomato sauce is SO delicious and easy to make and requires virtually no fuss in the kitchen.

I used a mix of Roma tomatoes and Campari tomatoes. The Campari tomatoes are a bit sweeter, so if you don’t want the extra sweetness in your sauce, use all Roma tomatoes.


Serves: 4

Cost: $

Skill Level: Easy

Time to Make: 2 hours 30 minutes (2 hours inactive)


3 pounds fresh tomatoes (I used Roma and Campari)

1 stick unsalted butter

Salt to taste

Crushed red pepper

10 cloves garlic

1 bunch fresh basil

16 ounces rigatoni pasta

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, optional, for serving


Prepare Ingredients: Cut the butter into pats. Roughly chop the garlic. Halve the Roma tomatoes.

Start the Sauce: Heat 2 pats of butter in a large pot over medium high. Add the tomatoes, garlic, crushed red pepper to taste, and a healthy sprinkle of salt. Add the remaining butter and stir for 3-5 minutes or until all the butter has melted. Add 1/3 cup water and then reduce heat and simmer, stirring and breaking the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon occasionally, for 2 hours. After the sauce has simmered for 2 hours, mash the tomatoes with your spoon or, if desired, transfer the sauce to a food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached. You may wish to pour the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to  separate any of the tomato skins from the sauce. I left them in because they don’t bother me. Transfer the sauce back to the pot and return to a very low simmer.

Cook the Pasta: Prepare the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Remove 1/2 cup pasta cooking water from the pot before draining the pasta. Toss the pasta with the extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

Finish the Sauce: Tear the basil leaves in half and add them to the sauce along with the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta and toss to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat until the pasta is well-coated with the sauce. Remove from heat.

To Serve: Divide the pasta between bowls and sprinkle the cheese on top, if desired. Enjoy!

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