Cart Driver’s Sauce (alla carrettiera)

Cart Driver’s Sauce (pasta alla carrettiera)

Course: DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Total time




  • 2-2½ pounds fresh plum tomatoes

  • 5-6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt

  • Black pepper, freshly ground

  • 1 pound spaghettini, capellini, or angel hair pasta

  • 1 large bunch of fresh basil, rinsed and patted dry


  • Bring 4-6 quarts of water to boil. Meanwhile, cut a small “X” cut on the bottom of each tomatoes using a paring knife. Once the water comes to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and stir. Carefully add the tomatoes into the water and parboil until skins begin to split, about 30 seconds. With a wire spider or slotted spoon, transfer tomatoes to a medium bowl and let cool. (Do not drain the water. Keep it boiling.) When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins, core, and chop into ½-inch dice.
  • Place tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, ½ teaspoon of salt, and several grindings of pepper into a medium sauce pan and set heat to medium-high. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have released their juices, the sauce thickens and the oil separates from tomatoes. Use the back of a spoon to break-up any large tomato pieces.
  • While the sauce is cooking, add pasta to the boiling water used to parboil tomatoes and cook until al dente, based on the package instructions. Tear all but the smallest basil leaves into nickel-sized pieces (about ¾-inch pieces). When the sauce is ready, add the basil off heat and stir. Taste and adjust for salt.
  • When ready, drain the pasta and toss with sauce in a large serving bowl. Serve immediately.