04 September 2010

Weekend Cooking: Dinner with Frank

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.


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
  • Salt
  • Basil, chopped fresh or dried
  • Oregano, chopped fresh or dried
  • Thyme, chopped fresh or dried
  • Parmesan cheese for serving
Put up a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

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.


caite 9/4/10, 6:15 AM  

Frank and I make a very similiar sauce.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 9/4/10, 6:38 AM  

I could have eaten at Frank's house.

Michelle 9/4/10, 7:55 AM  

If Frank likes it how can we go wrong!

Julie P. 9/4/10, 8:11 AM  

Cute post! It does look good and easy!

Anonymous,  9/4/10, 9:14 AM  

Yum! Could you please send Frank to my house for dinner?

bermudaonion 9/4/10, 9:17 AM  

This sounds similar to the sauce I make, but I cook it a little bit longer.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 9/4/10, 9:21 AM  

I <3 Frank, with or without the sauce!

I rarely make a sauce from scratch, but, the timing is perfect ... Wednesday is both CSA pick-up day and pasta day at our house. Guess what we'll be having next week!?

I'm really stretching the Weekend Cooking theme with my post -- a visit to a restaurant expecting a diner, but getting a tasty gourmet meal.

Beth F 9/4/10, 9:29 AM  

Weekend Cooking is for all posts even remotely foodie:

movie reviews, cool new gadget, restaurants, new coffee flavor at your favorite coffee shop,review of a cozy mystery that involves food or drink, film clip of s food scene

There is NO stretching of the theme -- if food or drink is in anyway connected with your post, it counts!

Kaye 9/4/10, 10:30 AM  

This has gotten me hankering for some pasta! Thanks for sharing. Have a great holiday weekend.

Rikki 9/4/10, 10:33 AM  

We love simple tomato sauce and will definitely try this one out. Thanks for Frank!

BooksPlease 9/4/10, 12:12 PM  

We love tomato sauce too and I make it very like this. Now I'll think of Frank each time I make it.

Lynne Perednia 9/4/10, 12:16 PM  

Added garlic, basil and oregano to commercial sauce last night to make it more like Frank. Love a good sauce that can be used with so many kinds of pasta and proteins.

The Tome Traveller 9/4/10, 12:24 PM  

Yum! You've got me thinking about dinner already. Do you listen to Frank when you make this?? He's a favorite at our house.

Melissa 9/4/10, 2:39 PM  

We love Frank Sinatra in our house. When we lived in the Philadelphia suburbs, we listened to Sid Mark's "Sunday with Sinatra" each week and Sid would often play a clip of Frank telling Sid about this recipe, the ingredients, and how to prepare it.

Sid never steers a listener and Frank fan wrong, so I'm betting it is indeed Mr. S's sauce.

I've been meaning to make homemade tomato sauce for awhile ... thanks for the reminder of this one!

Sandy Nawrot 9/4/10, 2:39 PM  

Yes I think Frank on the iPod and a glass of red while cooking this is just the trick. Nothing warms my heart like making a good pasta sauce!

Alyce 9/4/10, 3:23 PM  

You have great timing! I have a bowl full of tomatoes in my kitchen and many more ripening on the vine in our garden. I've been trying to figure out what to do with them for days.

Jane in AUSTRALIA 9/5/10, 5:18 AM  

we have meals with names we made up that have now gone on to be only called the word we thought we heard or dreamed up.
food names/sources can be an interesting part of fmaily tradition.

Peaceful Reader 9/5/10, 10:06 AM  

Yum-Frank's pasta sauce looks delicious! I would have to put Frank on the stereo and a glass of wine in my hand while I cooked this! Thanks for hosting and sharing!

Beth Hoffman 9/5/10, 10:09 AM  

This pasta dish sounds wonderful. I'm going to make it this week. Thanks!

Margot 9/5/10, 1:09 PM  

Your Frankj sauce looks like the perfect thing for today. We are heading for our Farmers Market where I'm planning to stock up on some Heirloom tomatoes. This sauceis now on the list to try this week.

Gilion at Rose City Reader 9/5/10, 3:53 PM  


And I am pleased that I had time to both cook and blog this weekend, so I could participate in this fun event. It's been a while.

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