Home     Content     Articles      La Scena Musicale     Search   

La Scena Musicale - Vol. 8, No. 2

Linguini Pavarotti

by Lucie Renaud / October 2, 2002

Version française...

photo: Russell Proulx
Original recipe by Luciano Pavarotti revealed several years ago in a TV show



  • 450 (1lb) grams of linguini
  • 30 ml (2 table spoons) of tomato paste, preferably Italian
  • 3 garlic buds, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 250 ml (1 cup) of Italian parsley (flat), finely chopped
  • 190 ml high quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup grated Reggiano Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Cook the pasta al dente. Drain without rinsing! Mix all the other ingredients and pour over the pasta! Buon appetito!


The Legend

Mentioning "spaghetti alla Pavarotti" in any company usually raises a mocking smile or two. And inevitably one or more people will joke around saying something like, "Oh, you mean a spaghetti meal for 12 but devoured by only one person, right?" The ample dimensions of the most highly publicised of the celebrated "Three Tenors" are undeniable, even if Luciano has always refused to comment on his weight. Anyone who has ever spent time in the company of the tenorissimo agrees though that food weighs heavy in Pavarotti's life, and that he particularly likes pasta and especially his beloved Reggiano that he sprinkles on practically everything. He has often mentioned that: "A good Italian restaurant must above all else make good pasta. As for the other dishes, whether roast beef or fish, other restaurants can make them just as well. Pasta is the heart of an Italian restaurant."

Just like Caruso, (see the Spaghetti alla Caruso recipe in our April 2002 issue) Pavarotti loves to personally take part in preparing food whether in one of his different residences or with friends. He told Christopher Matthews in the July 2002 issue of Reader's Digest: "I know my way around a kitchen pretty well. I specialize in pasta. Do you know what dish is the most difficult to make? Spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce. The simplest things are often the hardest to do."

Be that as it may! To make things easier for you if you ever decided to yield to the temptation of eating a tomato and basil sauce, here is a recipe that you could make today using the freshest and tastiest ingredients (taking advantage of the harvest season). You could make it in large quantity and preserve in pretty glass containers for those chilly winter evenings. All you will need to do then will be to warm up the sauce while cooking up the pasta (or spread it on pizza crust) and sing "O Sole mio!" along with the great tenor. Be sure not to leave out the Parmesan!

Tomato and Basil Sauce

  • Adapted from More Put a Lid on It, a book by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard. Macmillan Canada Publishing, 1999.
  • For 2 litres of sauce (8 cups)
  • The recipe may be doubled or tripled without any problems
  • 2 litres (8 cups) of tomatoes, braised, peeled and diced
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chopped onions
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 150 ml (2/3 cup) red wine
  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) red wine vinegar
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped basil
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) pickling salt
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) sugar
  • 1 tin (156 ml) tomato paste

Combine all the ingredients in a thick-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil over a high heat. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for approximately 40 minutes stirring regularly. Meanwhile, you will have washed and sterilized your glass jars (in boiling water, in a sterilizer, in the oven or the dishwasher.) Pour the sauce into the jars up to one cm from the top. Apply the seal and the ring on the container. Place the jars in a large pot of boiling water. Add water so the jars are covered over with 3 cm of water. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil once again. Keep the water boiling for another 35 minutes (40, if you are using 1 litre jars). Remove the jars from the pot. Allow to cool for 24 hours. Check the seals (they should curve inward), Label the jars and put them away in a cool, dimly lit area.

[Translated by Alexandre Lebedeff]

Version française...

(c) La Scena Musicale