Spaghetti Alla Carrettiera

Photo credit: Anshu A. on UnSplash
Contributor: Jim Brown (former beloved Il Cenacolo Member who recently passed away). This recipe was used in his La Lanterna restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Spaghetti Alla Carrettiera is rooted in Eastern Sicily. As we remember it from Dad, this is a simple sauce. Quantities suggested will serve 4- 6. Adjust proportions to your liking. Jim would tell you to make sure the pasta water has plenty of salt – the water should be salty as the sea. Your pasta will be more flavorful. Pasta cooking in well-salted water even smells better – more savory and wheat-y.”

Prep Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
Servings: 4
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/4 c. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 28-oz. can tomatoes, chopped or squished in their juice.
  • Leaves from 1 bunch of basil, coarsely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 or so twists of black pepper
  • 1 lb. good quality semolina pasta – spaghetti and spagettini are traditional,
    but any shape pasta is fine
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan.

Add the minced garlic and cook for just a few seconds to cook the “raw” out of the garlic, but do not let it brown.

Add tomatoes and cook over medium-high heat until reduced in volume by about a quarter.

In another pot, bring to boil amply salted water, cook pasta al dente. A few minutes before the pasta is done, add the basil to the tomatoes.

Drain pasta, add sauce, serve, and top with grated cheese.

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