Yeah I pulled this shit together on a school night: Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper Pappardelle with fresh tomato sauce—San Marzanos + onion + garlic + basil + olive oil + Kosher salt.


The pasta is very lemon-y and pepper-ya really great combination with the tart-sweet San Marzano tomato sauce. Good ingredients are key; the farmer’s-market-fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil did pretty much all the work for me. A simply flavored fresh-tomato sauce is key as well—a simmered-for-hours, deeply seasoned sauce wouldn’t allow the lemon and pepper to come through. No hard-and fast recipe here for the sauce; this is my best recollection of what I did:

  • about 8 San Marzano plum tomatoes, chopped
  • about 3/4 of a medium onion, finely chopped (I favor a 1/8-inch dice)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Sweat the onion + garlic + salt to taste in the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat.
    (Adding the salt now aids in the sweating process.)
  • When everything’s soft and translucent, add the chopped tomatoes. I didn’t have as much tomato as I wanted, and I also had time to boil off extra liquid, so I kept the skin and seeds.
    (Start boiling water for pasta about now…I also added olive oil to the water to keep the pasta from sticking.)
  • Keeping heat at about medium, cook everything down till it has the consistency that you like.
    (Check seasoning and add salt if needed.)
  • Stir in the basil, let everything heat through a couple minutes.
    (With fresh basil, adding it towards the end preserves its flavor and color. Hopefully your pasta is done now…drain and plate it.)
  • Remove from heat, and serve over pasta.

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