Spaghetti Pomodoro from The Bear

>> Sunday, December 25, 2022

This recipe is based on the red sauce as featured in the family dinners in the FX television series The Bear. Granted, I haven't made a whole lot of marinara recipes from scratch, but I really liked this sauce and it's way better than bottled sauces. This recipe is based on this YouTube video where real-life chef Matty Matheson and Courtney Storer from the show walk you through the process. I'd definitely advise checking out the video but if you're used to the typical step by step recipe instructions that you usually find on the Internet, it'll be a different experience. So, this is my attempt to translate the recipe into the more traditional format.

2 - 28oz cans Centro crushed tomatoes
6 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, halved
1 - 6oz can of Cento tomato paste
8-10 cloves garlic, chopped/minced/sliced 
Olive oil
Crushed red pepper
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Fresh basil
1 box spaghetti (I actually like angel hair pasta more)

  1. Halve your onion and peel it. It's ok to trim a little off the top and bottom, but leave enough of the core on the bottom so that it holds together. You’re going to be removing the onion later, so this is why you want to keep it intact.
  2. To a medium/large pot, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium high heat.
  3. Add 6T butter to pot.
  4. Once the butter has started melting, add onion halves (flat side down).
  5. Add garlic and adjust heat as necessary so as not to burn the garlic.
  6. Add one or two "chef pinches" of kosher salt. (It's probably at least a teaspoon)
  7. Reduce heat to medium low.
  8. Add a pinch or more of crushed red pepper (more of you like some heat in your red sauce)
  9. Add anywhere from 3-6oz of tomato paste to the pot and cook it off for a few  minutes. This will help avoid the metallic character often associated with tomato paste.
  10. Tear a few basil leaves and add them to the pot. If you decide you want more basil, you can also add it later. 
  11. Add crushed tomatoes to pot. 
  12. Add about half a can (14oz) of water to the pot.
  13. Add a couple more chef pinches of kosher salt.
  14. Add black pepper to taste. I probably start at about 1 teaspoon worth, and go from there.  
  15. Stir to mix and taste.  If it's too acidic, add more salt (a little at a time).
  16. Continue to cook over low medium heat until the onions are fully cooked through and translucent.  I've let it go over an hour without any issues. Just remember to stir occasionally and make sure the heat is low enough that it doesn't burn/scorch the sauce.
  17. When the onion is cooked all the way through, remove the onions and discard. Taste the sauce again and add salt, pepper, and more fresh basil to taste. 
  18. Prepare your pasta per the package directions.
  19. In the video they combine the pasta and sauce then serve. I love a ton of sauce on my spaghetti but my wife likes less sauce on hers, so we add the sauce at serving time. 
I love meatballs and this sauce goes well with them for spaghetti and meatballs or for a meatball sandwich. One time I added some crumbled spicy Italian sausage and it also was really good.