pasta sauce
Make it fast! Just five ingredients (plus some salt and a cup of water), and you have a richly red, deeply flavored sauce for pasta, pizza or dipping.

Yes, I love a slower kitchen: The repetitive, reflective nature of making wontons; the coaxing of flavors in a layered ratatouille or roast.

But sometimes dinner has to be fast. And when speed is of the essence, you can’t beat this quick and easy marinara sauce, courtesy of Lydia Bastianich. Just five ingredients (plus water, salt and pasta), and dinner is ready in less than half an hour.

Simply put a pot of water on to boil. Then pull out a deep saute pan and warm 1/4 cup olive oil in it. Smash and roughly chop 7 cloves of garlic. Add them plus 1 chile de Arbol to the hot oil. (Skip the chili if you don’t have it. Voila! Four ingredients!) Let both sizzle for 30 seconds of so, being careful not to let the garlic brown.

Add 1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes or (if you like your sauce extra thick) pureed tomatoes, plus 1 cup of water and a teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then submerge 1 basil sprig in the sauce. Turn the heat down so the sauce simmers.

By now, your pot of water should be boiling. Salt it and add 1 package of spaghetti. Cook according to the package directions. Drain when it’s just al dente, and toss with the hot sauce.

Dinner is served!