Penne col Sugo di Pomodoro all’Aceto Balsamico

Penne with Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar

One could spend a lifetime finding new tomato sauces to make and still have ideas left over for a reincarnation or two. Rosemary and balsamic vinegar-account for the unusual, effusive fragrance of this sauce. Note that, in order not to disperse the vinegar’s precious aroma, it is added off heat after the pasta has been tossed in the pan with the sauce.


  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves, sliced very thin
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, about 4 to 6 inches long, or teaspoons dried leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups canned Italian peeled plum tomatoes, drained of their juice
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • 1 pound penne (quill-shaped pasta) or other short, tubular pasta
  • 2 teaspoons aceto balsamico (balsamic vinegar)


  1. Put the olive oil and garlic into a sauté pan or skillet with, if it is fresh, the rosemary. Turn on the heat to medium.
  2. As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle, add the tomatoes, salt, and liberal grindings of pepper; if you are using chopped, dried rosemary, put it in now. Cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  3. Drop the pasta into a pot of abundant boiling salted water. When it is done but markedly al dente, very firm to the bite, drain and transfer immediately to the pan containing the sauce.
  4. Turn on the heat to very low and toss the pasta with the sauce for about 1 minute.
  5. Turn off the heat and make a well in the middle of the pasta. Pour the vinegar into the well, draw the pasta over it, toss thoroughly for a few seconds, and serve at once.