Italian cooks have strong opinions on how Americans whip up a dish of spaghetti and sauce, and it comes down to making one simple, yet correctable mistake. If you don’t want a whack with a wooden spoon, you need to pour more olive oil to the pot in order to get that proper authentic flavor. Apparently, Americans are too afraid to add that extra fat to the dish. “Without oil, you don’t cook,” reveals Trattoria del Moro operator Emiliana Livi, who says, “We use a lot of oil in our food because our oil is so good.” The sentiments were echoed by Adio Provvedi, who points out, “Olive oil is the base of all our ancient recipes.” If cooking an old-school Pomodoro, Livi says to add 2 to 3 tablespoons of a high-quality olive oil per two-person portion, and never let it get too hot.

Do you have a good pasta sauce recipe to share?