I acquired my first Italian cookbook while living in Tokyo in 1987. My husband had a Jessica’s Biscuit Cookbook catalogue and for my 22nd birthday present let me chose a few books and had them shipped to us. I was elated and when my copy of Ed Giobbi’s “Italian Family Cooking” arrived in Tokyo, I stopped everything and read it from cover to cover. Giobbi is an artist and illustrates some of his cookbooks with his own work. He writes about living in Italy as an art student. It is a charming book. It is his Italian cookbook I consult most often. This sauce recipe is inspired from Giobbi’s first cookbook. I love his simple but flavorful recipes. The book is out of print, but worth tracking down.
Fresh Tomato Sauce
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
5-6 c. diced fresh tomatoes
4 large basil leaves, chopped plus a little extra for garnish
1 Tbsp. freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. dried Greek oregano
1 Tbsp. sugar or to taste
1 tsp. Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lb. spaghetti
Heat oil in a 5 quart stockpot. Add garlic and Saute until soft but not brown; about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes until tomatoes fall apart. Adjust seasoning to your liking. Cook pasta and drain. Save 1 cup of pasta water. Add spaghetti to the sauce and stir to coat the pasta. Let cook 3-5 minutes. If it is too thick add a little pasta water. Garnish with some fresh basil before serving. Serves 5.