Friday, February 5, 2010

Easiest Tomato Sauce Ever!

I'm the simple type.  I like to wear basics, jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, and so forth.  You don't often see me in anything too trendy or even colorful for that matter.  I pack light.  I'm not into gadgets or knick knacks.  I just recently got a texting plan, and I probably wouldn't own a laptop if it wasn't for my techy husband.  I like just about everything in my life plain and simple, except my food.  I love spice and heat and interesting flavors.  So, when I came across this recipe I thought, nope, not for me.  I like lots of flavor in my pasta sauce!  But, I just couldn't ignore the fact that people on cooking blogs everywhere kept raving about it.  I couldn't imagine what could be so great with only 3 ingredients (4, if you count salt).  There was no garlic, no olive oil, no basil, no red wine (sinful), just canned tomatoes, an onion, and butter.   Butter, in tomato sauce?  It didn't even sound right.  Well, despite loving food that is anything but simple, I am a sucker for easy!  And this certainly seemed easy.  Amazingly, this sauce was anything but simple once it was done.  It was rich, flavorful, sweet, savory, mellow and intense all at the same time.  I wouldn't have believed it 'til I tried it and I highly recommend that you do too!  

From and Marcela Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking          

Serves 4 as a main course; makes enough sauce to lightly coat most of a pound of spaghetti

28 ounces (800 grams) whole peeled tomatoes from a can (San Marzano, if you can find them)

5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter

1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved

Salt to taste

Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, discard the onion, add salt to taste (you might find, that your tomatoes came salted and that you didn’t need to add more) and keep warm while you prepare your pasta.

Note: I used a potato masher at the end to further crush my tomatoes.  I found it tedious to try and crush them against the side of the pan.  The masher worked just fine.

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