A Popular, nostalgic image of Italian cooking is that of a portly, grandmotherly woman stirring a simmering sauce for hours. Fortunately, it is. only a fantasy. Of the thousands of pasta sauces, only a few take more than 15 to 20 minutes. This sauce for maccheroncini doesn’t take even 1 minute.
The secret of its sprightly, fragrant flavor is that the herbs and tomatoes of which it is composed are virtually raw. They never see the inside of a saucepan but go directly into the serving bowl where they are splashed with hot olive oil. It is in that brief second or two, while the heat is at flash point, that the fruity scent of the sizzling olive oil is fused to the fresh aromas of the five herbs and the tomato. The texture of the tomato is practically unaltered, staying as juicy and firm as when it was cut up. The forthright style of the sauce agrees well with the sturdiness of macaroni pasta, either in tubular shapes or in the solid ones, like spaghetti or spaghettini.
© 1986 Marcella Hazan estate. All rights reserved.