Mezze Maniche alla Checca

Mezze Maniche alla Checca


  •     14 oz. can of passata di pomodoro (tomato purée)

  •     1 onion, peeled and left whole

  •     2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  •     1 whole mozzarella, about 1/2 a pound

  •     3/4 cup of parmiggiano reggiano

  •     A few leaves of fresh basil

  •     1/2 lb of mezze maniche or any ribbed short pasta

  •     Small handful of salt for pasta water


  1. Heat oil in a small pot over medium-high heat and add the onion.

  2. When the onion starts to sizzle add tomato purée, a pinch of salt and a few leaves of fresh basil, let simmer at a medium-low heat until the pasta is cooked.

  3.  Discard the onion once the pasta is cooked.

  4. Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat.

  5. While waiting for the pasta water to boil, grate the parmiggiano and cut up the mozzarella into small pieces.

  6.  Cut a few basil leaves into thin strips.

  7. Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

  8. When the pasta is cooked, strain in a colander and pour back into the pot, add ladles of tomato sauce to the pot and mix into the pasta. You don’t need to do this over a flame, but the sauce should always be mixed into the pasta before it is plated.

  9. Plate the pasta and add the mozzarella, parmiggiano and the strips of basil leaves and serve.

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