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Tony Bennett’s Favorite Pasta Dish Is a 4-Ingredient Classic

And he always enjoyed it in style.

<p>Getty</p>

Getty

Even the legendary Tony Bennett, who dined in restaurants all over the globe as he shared his music with the world, preferred a good ol’ plate of pasta to fancy international fare. Why? Because it tasted like home. And, although Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, the meal he loved most actually came from the other coast, right in his hometown of Queens Village.

In the heart of Astoria, Queens is an old-school Italian kitchen known for keeping the classics classic, and it’s called Sac’s Place. For decades, the family-owned establishment has been the neighborhood go-to for authentic Italian food, and, according to a Forbes interview with Sac's Place owner, Domenico Sacramone, Bennett was among the regulars.

The singer stopped into Sac’s Place often to have a quiet, comfort food-filled evening with his wife and watch his friend, Angelo Ferraro, play drums with the jazz band in the dining room. After a glass of red wine (“Whatever our house wine usually sufficed,” said Sacramone), Bennett’s standard order was a shockingly simple pasta dish called Rigatoni Al Fileto di Pomodoro.

Red wine, pasta, and jazz? Bennett clearly knew the keys to a good life.

Chef John
Chef John

Tony Bennett’s Favorite Pasta Dish

Rigatoni Al Fileto di Pomodoro is a lot less fancy than it sounds.

Translating to tomato fillet (aka, chopped tomatoes) the red sauce pasta dish is a rustic, honest, and easy-to-make meal, and it was a cherished meal of the "Rags to Riches" singer. The entire dish is built around just four ingredients, showcasing the simplicity and authenticity Bennett loved from home-cooked Italian cuisine.

"It is what he always ordered," Sacramone told Forbes. "He had simple tastes and this dish only has a few ingredients—our fresh pasta, olive oil, crushed tomatoes, and basil. I think it reminded him of the kind of food he also grew up eating."

Straightforward, yet full of soul, this classic dish embodies the essence and traditions of life in Italian-American New York. It’s wholesome, flavorful, and as timeless as the famed diner himself—and, best of all, it’s easy to recreate at home.

How to Make Rigatoni al Fileto di Pomodoro

(Adapted from Sac’s Place’s original recipe)


Unlike some Sunday sauces that take all day to make, this light and fresh pomodoro dish takes only 30 minutes to prepare. To make it, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt, then stir in 2 to 3 cloves of minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Next, add in a can of chopped tomatoes (San Marzanos are best) with juices and your choice of seasonings. Cover the skillet and simmer the sauce on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook dried rigatoni pasta until al dente, then drain the noodles (reserving 1 cup of pasta water in case you need it later). Keep cooking the sauce until it has thickened slightly, adding in the reserved pasta water if it thickens too much. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed.

To serve up Rigatoni al Fileto di Pomodoro, add the pasta noodles to a bowl, top it with the tomato sauce, and garnish with parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and ground pepper before serving. Pair the dish with a basket of crusty bread, a side salad, and a good glass of red wine to complete your quintessential Italian evening. Just don’t forget to put on some smooth Tony Bennett songs in the background.

Read the original article on All Recipes.