This is my go-to pomodoro, which comes together in about the time it takes to boil the spaghetti. I prefer to use canned San Marzano tomatoes because they are the next-best thing to garden-ripe fruit. Don’t omit the herbs—both up front and at the end—because they add a ton of depth and brightness. If you want to chop up and add vegetables like zucchini, squash, or eggplant to the sauce, go right ahead. While tomatoes are an incredible source of antioxidants like vitamin C, you can never eat too many veggies!
Small bunch of fresh oregano
Small bunch of fresh thyme
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more (optional) for serving
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
½ pound spaghetti
4 tablespoons Faux Parmesan Cheese ( this page ), plus more (optional) for serving
1 Bundle up the oregano and thyme in butcher’s twine and set aside.
2 Set a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, then add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the pepper flakes and tomatoes. Season with a pinch of salt and a twist of pepper and add the herb bundle. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the herb bundle, stir in the basil, and keep warm.
3 Meanwhile, add 3 tablespoons salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente, about 1 minute less than the package directions. Occasionally give the pasta a stir so it doesn’t stick together. When the pasta is ready, scoop out and reserve ½ cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta in a colander.
4 Add the pasta to the pomodoro sauce along with the reserved pasta water. Add the faux parmesan and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and stir to combine. Top with more faux parmesan and olive oil at the table, if desired.

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