Scarpetta Spaghetti With Tomato Sauce 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Dec 11, 2013

One of the secrets to this popular version of a ubiquitous dish is the infused oil that flavors the tomato sauce. Scott Conant, chef-owner of Scarpetta in New York, says the last thing that goes into a dish is the first thing you'll taste, so he makes an oil infused with garlic, basil and crushed red pepper flakes and adds that to his cooked tomato sauce. (The other secret would be butter.)

Conant acknowledges that "spaghetti" is a misnomer for this pasta. It's linguine, or actually tonnarelli, which is easier to produce at home than spaghetti because it doesn't require a pasta extruder.

Canned San Marzano tomatoes may be used to replace some or all of the fresh tomatoes in the sauce. In Internet videos of this recipe, Conant suggests that a high-quality dried pasta could replace the homemade version.

You'll need a pasta-rolling machine. Type 00 flour is a fine-milled flour available at specialty stores and some supermarkets. We found it at A. Litteri, Seasonal Pantry and Whole Foods Market Foggy Bottom in the District. All-purpose flour may be substituted.

Make Ahead: The pasta dough needs to rest for 1 hour before rolling. The fresh pasta can be refrigerated up to overnight or frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month. The tomato sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Leftover flavored oil (strained) can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • For the pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups Type 00 flour, plus more as needed (see headnote)
  • 2 tablespoons semolina flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 extra-large egg yolks (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • For the sauce
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 plum or Roma tomatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled and seeded, juices strained and reserved (see headnote)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 3 large sprigs basil (about 24 leaves plus stems)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • For assembly
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 16 fresh basil leaves, stacked, rolled tightly and cut crosswise into thin ribbons (chiffonade)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


For the pasta: Combine the 00 flour, the semolina flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Beat at low speed to incorporate, then add the yolks, oil and water. Once the ingredients are incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat/knead the dough for 5 minutes. It should be pliable, smooth and not sticky.

Lightly dust a work surface and a large rimmed baking sheet with flour. Place the dough on the work surface and knead it by hand for a minute or two. Form the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

Set a pasta machine at its widest setting (No. 1 on most machines).

Cut the pasta dough into 4 equal pieces. Work with one piece at a time and keep the remaining pieces wrapped. Lightly flour the dough and run it through the pasta machine twice. Fold it in half and run it through again. Do that 4 or 5 more times. This serves as a final kneading.

Set the machine to its next-thinner setting and run the dough through again. Repeat, resetting the machine to its next-thinner setting each time, until you get to the fourth setting. Cut the sheet into lengths of about 12 inches. Use the linguine cutter/setting to cut the sheet into strands. Dust the strands with a mix of 00 and semolina flours, gather them into a nest and place them on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

For the sauce: Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, carefully add the tomatoes and salt. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring, until the tomatoes soften, then reduce the heat to medium; use a potato masher to break down the tomatoes and form a sauce. Add the reserved tomato juices to thin the sauce as needed. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. (If you are making the entire recipe at one time, the sauce can remain in the pan; otherwise, cool it and refrigerate until ready to use.)

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 cup of oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, basil and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir until the basil wilts and the garlic turns light brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; steep for 5 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer; discard the solids. Add half of the oil to the tomato sauce. Taste, and add salt as needed.

For assembly: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt.

Meanwhile, warm the sauce in a large saute pan over medium heat.

Add the pasta to the boiling water; cook until it is just shy of tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, reserving at least 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the pan with the tomato sauce; increase the heat to medium-high, shaking the pan to incorporate the sauce and the pasta. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese, butter and basil, tossing gently to incorporate. Divide the pasta among individual wide, shallow bowls. Drizzle with oil, if desired; serve warm.

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Recipe Source

From Scott Conant's "The Scarpetta Cookbook: 125 Recipes From the Acclaimed Restaurant" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013).

Tested by Jim Webster.

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