• 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (or more to taste)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can San Marzano (Italian) tomatoes, blended smooth
  • ½ cup water (to rinse out can of tomatoes)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package uncooked rigatoni pasta
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, salt. Cook until no longer white and starting to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook about 1 minute. Add chili flakes and blended tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer; adjust heat to medium to medium-low. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 45 to 60 minutes. Reduce heat to low.


  • Step 2

    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook rigatoni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes (5 minutes from doneness).

  • Step 3

    Add about 2/3 of the basil to the sauce. Stir in butter. When butter melts, add cheese in 3 increments.

  • Step 4

    Drain pasta; transfer to sauce. Stir until rigatoni are evenly coated with sauce. Serve sprinkled with the remaining basil and a dusting of grated cheese.

  • Chef's Note:

    This recipe probably makes enough sauce to coat 12 oz of pasta, but I like lots of sauce.

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