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In my family, we call this recipe "Frank." It got its name because supposedly it was Frank Sinatra's favorite pasta sauce. Is this true? I have no clue. I know that my mom and I have been making this for almost 30 years.
I did a quick search around the Internet and found several variations, each claiming to be Frank's recipe. I can't vouch for the others, but I know the sauce I make is delicious.
We make Frank in the late summer (now!) when fresh heirloom tomatoes are at their best. In the winter, we use canned diced tomatoes or halved cherry or grape tomatoes as a substitute.
Once you try this recipe, you might end up preferring a fresh sauce to the more usual cooked-down, thicker sauce that you're used to. We like Frank, and it takes just minutes to prepare. Be sure to check out some of the other fresh pasta sauces that have been linked to Weekend Cooking over last several weeks.
Frank Sinatra's Pasta Sauce
- 1 pound dried pasta, any shape
- Splash of olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- About 4 cups chopped mixed tomatoes (or 2 [14-ounce] cans of diced tomatoes)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Basil, chopped fresh or dried
- Oregano, chopped fresh or dried
- Thyme, chopped fresh or dried
- Parmesan cheese for serving
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, pepper, salt, and herbs. Bring to a rapid simmer and let simmer until the pasta is ready.
When the water boils, cook the pasta according to package directions.
When the pasta is ready, drain it but don't rinse it. Put it in a large bowl and toss in the sauce. Serve in low bowls with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
I know there are no measurements for the seasonings. Just use however much seems right to you -- be generous. We don't add salt because the cheese is salty enough for us.