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Monday, July 11, 2011

Simple Tomato Sauce

DJ absolutely loves the movie Cars. I swear that if we let him, he would watch it over and over again. When I had coupons for sunglasses and let him choose, he went right for the Lightning McQueen without hesitation. If he were a bit older, we would probably be taking him to the movie theatre to see the second movie. He loves how fast Lightning is, how he flashes his lightning bolt, and says "Ka-Chow". I prefer Mater. He's friendly, no fuss, and a bit on the simple side. The small things (tractor tipping) make him happy. I really think that sometimes schedules get so hectic that we forget to take a breather and just slow down a bit. Wow...pretty deep thought about a tow truck from an animated movie, huh?

My point? This tomato sauce is my Mater in the kitchen. It's wonderful, takes a minute to throw together if you count the time to open the cans, and has a wonderful, full bodied flavor. It's hard to believe that there are only three (four, if you add salt) ingredients. Most of the time just involves allowing the sauce to simmer, stirring occassionally, of course. The 45 minutes that it took to simmer were painful. DJ's therapist even commented about how she was going to have pasta for dinner because it smelled so good in our house. This sauce is user friendly, no fuss, and completely simple.

I do have to say that I adapted the recipe slightly because I like a chunky sauce. When I read the recipe, I decided that I would dice the onion instead of halving it and I left it in the sauce, mashing it along with the tomato. I was looking forward to left overs the next day, but there were none to put in the fridge. In this house of pasta eaters, this recipe is my go-to for a quick and easy sauce.

1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, with juices
1 onion, peeled and diced (or halved, depending on preference)
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
Salt, to taste

Combine the tomatoes, onion, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to keep the sauce at a low, steady simmer for 45 minutes.  Using a potato masher, mash the tomato and onion into smaller pieces or crush the tomato with a spoon and discard onion halves, based upon your preference. Serve warm with pasta.

Source: adapted from Annie’s Eats,  Essentials of Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan via Smitten Kitchen

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