Serious Eats: Recipes

Mario Unclogged: Spaghetti al Pomodoro

Editor's note: We're thrilled to introduce our bureau chief of all things Italian on Serious Eats, Mario Batali. Mario will be weighing in regularly on, well, anything he cares to weigh in on. We're excited to have Mario on the site, mostly because he loves to eat and cook as much as we do, and because he adheres to the Serious Eats bywords—Passionate, Inclusive, Discerning—in all of his far-flung endeavors. —Ed Levine

Nothing, nothing, sounds better than a plate of spaghetti al pomodoro in the month of September.

Did I say nothing? I meant nothing!

The myth of summer tomatoes will continue, but real cooks know that the maximum flavor raver for the golden love apples' peak of perfection is in fact September and even October. A walk through nearly any farmers' market in the northern hemisphere will prove me correct, as one jaunt this last weekend through the Union Square Greenmarket did. There are literally three dozen different types of magnificent tomatoes available in assorted hues, with fantasy names from Green Zebras and Brandywines to Black Russians, Wrinkly Ligurians, Ox Hearts and Cherokee Purples.

A relatively dry summer in the Northeast has produced a deliciously sweet and intense tomato crop, and any tomato you may buy will work in the following recipe as a substitute for the Sungold Cherry tomatoes (one of my all-time faves for sugary sweetness wrapped in a slightly tannic skin of acidity).

Spaghetti al Pomodoro

You'll just need to cut the tomatoes into 1-inch pieces and add them just after the garlic is toasted, cooking them 1 minute less, as they will not need to burst.

About the author: Mario Batali has created a thriving restaurant empire and has established himself as a top restaurateur. Together with his partner, Joe Bastianich, he operates seven New York City hotspots. Mario splits his time between New York City's Greenwich Village and northern Michigan with his wife, Susan Cahn, of Coach Dairy Goat Farm, and their two sons. More Mario: mariobatali.com.

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