What’s Cooking? | Pasta in Secret Sauce – Ep. 14

On this episode of  “What’s Cooking?” Chef Merry makes a pasta sauce. This is a copycat recipe for an award-winning & very famous pasta sauce at Gino’s in NYC. When Gino’s closed in 2010 most of the recipe got out, and since then has been replicated a few different ways.

This sauce is incredible and easy, just time consuming. You can use pretty much whatever pasta you’d like, but something like rigatoni or penne would be best so that it catches the sauce.

Please note that this is the first of several episodes filmed with Dave’s iPhone & minimal equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is his hope to release videos every other week during the next month or two.

For those that want to print & try this recipe you can take it from below.


  • 1 pound | Pasta of your choice (we used penne)
  • 1 cup | Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons | Cold butter, cubed
  • Small handful of basil, sliced just before adding
  • 28 ounces | Ground peeled tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons | Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Red pepper flakes


  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion & salt, and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions turn translucent.
  3. Add the garlic & pepper flakes, and stir around for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes & stir to combine. Adjust heat to medium & bring to a simmer. Cook for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. While the sauce reduces cook the pasta of your choice, removing just before al dente. Save some pasta water for adjusting the sauce.
  6. Reduce heat to low about 5 minutes from sauce being done. Add in the basil & stir.
  7. Add in the butter & stir until it disappears.
  8. Add in the cheese until it disappears, in 2 or 3 additions.
  9. Add the pasta, stir to combine. Add your reserved water, if needed.
  10. Serve immediately.

Let us know what you think, and how it went if you decided to make it yourself. I’m also always willing to try new things, so feel free to email recipe recommendations to driley@lynntv.org.

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