For Olive Oil And Pasta Sauce, Timing Is Everything According To Alex Guarnaschelli - Exclusive

On August 24, 2023, during Flavors of the Open, celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli will proffer up pasta for the tennis elite of the world. No arguments here — the Food Network star is nothing if not a pasta perfectionist

Similar to trying to discover the Coca-Cola recipe the company jealously guards in a locked vault, coaxing culinary wisdom from some chefs is a mission fit for the "Ocean's 11" crew. But Guarnaschelli, thank the food gods, is not covetous of her pasta knowledge. No need to watch her on TV for tips; the Iron Chef has tweeted the basics to desperate pasta makers enough that she deserves to be nationally recognized for elevating that nation's Italian cooking repertoire. She hasn't finished yet — in celebration of her Flavors of the Open participation, she gave Tasting Table another pasta-making clutch to hang onto for dear life. 

Olive oil and pasta sauce can fit together like culinary newlyweds, but as with love, timing is everything. Add olive oil too early, and you risk greasy slop instead of sauce. "If you boil the oil, in particular with the tomatoes, for the whole process, it's more apt to just separate out and make the sauce greasy," Guarnaschelli warned us. "But if you cook the tomatoes and cook the water out first and then blend with the oil, it thickens it and emulsifies in the blender. "

Yellow tomatoes create an extra-textured sauce, per Guarnaschelli

To mirror the menu that Alex Guarnaschelli will make for The U.S. Open's Flavors of the Open event, venture out of your comfort zone a little. Instead of relying on bright red San Marzano tomatoes, try your hand at a sauce that leans on the bright yellow beefsteak variety. You won't make a typical marinara or bolognese, but Guarnaschelli assured us that yellow tomatoes are the perfect ingredient for a summery special bordering on a "tomato vinaigrette." 

"Especially this time of year, I find [yellow tomatoes] lower in acid, and they're very fleshy," she explained. "They create a lot of texture in the sauce." You won't need many more ingredients to complement them. The celebrity chef's own recipe calls for olive oil, garlic, shallots, white rice vinegar, oregano, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese to top it with. "It's really about that fleshy tomato," Guarnaschelli assured us. "It's kind of mellow, but very flavorful."