Macaroni Neapolitan-Style

This is simply macaroni with a tomato sauce and it makes a warming, filling dish, especially good for lunch with a crisp green

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown.

Stir in the tomatoes with the can juice, tomato puree, -2 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, basil, oregano, parsley and bay leaf, mashing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon until they are pulpy.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the sauce for 40 to 45 minutes, or until it is rich and thick. If the sauce becomes too dry, add a little cold water.

Meanwhile, prepare the macaroni. Pour the water into a large saucepan and add the remaining salt. Place the pan over high heat and bring the water to the boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and add the macaroni. Cook the macaroni for 8 to minutes, or until it is ‘al dente’ or just tender. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the macaroni in a colander.

Transfer the macaroni to a warmed serving bowl. Add the butter and, using two large spoons, toss the macaroni in the butter until it is well coated.

Remove the sauce from the heat and remove and discard the bay leaf. Pour the sauce over the macaroni and sprinkle the cheese on top. Serve at once.

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