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Chicago Farmers Market Recipes

Spaghetti al pomodoro

By Sarah Grueneberg, Executive Chef, Spiaggia

spaghetti al pomodoro

2 cups chopped heirloom tomatoes
3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, sliced thin
8 thin slices jalapeno pepper
1 Tablespoon honey
½ cup eggplant, sliced
6 whole basil leaves
½ cup water
2 cups spaghetti


"Salsa di Pomodoro" or the best tomato sauce:
1. Place tomatoes a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. In a wide sauce pan, add olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced garlic, jalapeno and eggplant to the pan and toast until light golden brown. Add honey and tomato to the pan. Be careful, the tomato will be bubbly. Let the tomato bubble and reduce, concentrating the flavor. Stir the tomato, scraping the bottom of the pan, for 5 minutes. Add the water and basil leaves, lower the heat and let simmer for 5 more minutes.

Directions for spaghetti:
1. Bring a large pot (6-8 quart) of water to boil. Season water with kosher salt. Add spaghetti to the boiling water, check cooking time on box, and subtract 2 minutes of recommended cooking time. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water and drain pasta into a colander. Stir the pasta into the tomato sauce, adding a little pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Cook the pasta for the last 2 minutes in the sauce to make a more flavorful pasta (without extra salt!). Prepare to serve and finish with freshly grated gouda.

Chef’s note:
When tomatoes are in season at your local market, you can substitute fresh but you will need to double the weight of the tomatoes and cook down longer (fresh tomatoes have more natural water inside). Consider adding more fresh vegetables to this recipe. I recommend fresh eggplant, peppers, zucchini, arugula, spinach, olives, and artichokes