1medium onion (or 1/2 large onion), choppedwhite, yellow, or sweet onion (do not use red)
2cloves of garlic, minced
28ouncecan san marzano tomatoes (whole, peeled)
sea salt or kosher salt to taste
1/2-1cupheavy cream (optional)*
In a large dutch oven or skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook for 10 minutes, until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally to avoid browned onions. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Do not let garlic burn. Open canned tomatoes, and as you pour tomatoes into the dutch oven, crush each one with your hand, releasing juices and breaking up the flesh of tomatoes one by one. Add several cranks of salt to tomatoes. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring every few minutes to avoid burning of tomatoes.
About 20 minutes before pomodoro sauce is done cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil. Just before it begins to boil, generously salt the water. If using spaghetti or other classic dried pasta, cook 1 minute less than package directions or until just barely "al dente". Remove 1 cup of starchy pasta water from pot just before pasta is finished cooking. If cooking gnocchi, pasta is cooked when the gnocchi float to the top of the boiling water. Strain from pasta water immediately as to not overcook.
Using an immersion blender, blend the contents of the pomodoro sauce in dutch oven together until smooth. Taste sauce and add additional salt if needed. Add the reserved cup of pasta water to pomodoro sauce, and bring to a soft boil over medium-high heat. Add pasta and stir constantly for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Top with fresh basil and parm as desired.
*You may add 1/2 to 1 cup of heavy cream to the pasta just before serving if you'd like a creamier, richer sauce instead of the pasta water. Just make sure to taste the sauce after you've added the cream to ensure it has enough salt.*This pasta al pomodoro recipe can be made with any pasta, but we prefer to enjoy it with gnocchi or spaghetti. If you prepare gnocchi with this dish, you may need double the amount of gnocchi (2 lbs. or 2 packages) to get the correct pasta to sauce ratio. If using spaghetti, 1 lb of pasta is perfect.