Monday, January 18, 2010

This is my comfort food

So over the past week, someone asked me, "what's up? Aren't you cooking anything?" and I realized that the answer was "No." So after a boring week of lackluster food, I decided to take advantage of my voice lesson being canceled and make one of the recipes that I've been staring at for several days.

Marcella Hazan (you may remember, I read her book a while back), and who is known (at least in my mind) as that Italian lady on PBS with the lame arm, is a genius. I got her essential cookbook for Xmas (thanks, Margie and Hugh!) and there is one recipe in it that people seem to go wild for. Smitten Kitchen and the Amateur Gourmet both love it. I've always been skeptical. For one thing - the only ingredients are tomatoes, an onion and butter. What kind of crazy list is that? For another - it's a tomato sauce that takes over 45 minutes to make. My tomato sauce usually consists of some sauteed onion and garlic, a can of whole peeled tomatoes and salt, maybe some dried oregano, pepper, whatever. It usually takes about 20 minutes.

However - I like tomato sauce. I have extra time today. Why not? So here goes nothing.

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion

28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes (I used a 35 oz can. Whoops)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt to taste

The neat thing about this recipe? No chopping. Enjoy.

Put the tomatoes, onion, a bit of salt 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 (I know! Crazy! But just do it), add salt to taste.

Marcella says people have been known to just eat this sauce with a spoon and let me tell you, that couldn't be more true. That's pretty much what I've been doing all afternoon.

Here's the sauce (mixed with some whole wheat linguine):

It's messy. It's delicious. It's simple. I am so making this again.

Also, I'm already predicting my dad's comment on this post. Something along the lines of: Why do you add butter to everything? Ruining a perfectly good healthy dish. I only weigh 120 pounds. Blah blah blah.

To which I preemptively reply: Shut it. I cook what I want. I like a little butter now and then. And so do my readers.


Meredith said...

This looks awesome!

Also, butter is good. Fat tastes good to us for a reason- our bodies actually need it. A body without fat cannot thrive.

There was a frighteningly skinny guy next to me on the treadmill last night, and all I could think was "what the heck is he burning? skin cells? brain cells?" because there were no fat cells left.

Everything in moderation!!!!

David Borgen said...

I do not weigh 120 pounds...more like 140 pounds...also I don't think butter is needed in marinara sauce...olive oil is better...and why waste good onions by tossing them? eat your what if this is predictable...still right...i did notice the WHOLE WHEAT linguine so maybe all my years of ranting have not be totally for naught...db

Aliceae said...

I know that your pictures aren't all fancily lit or anything, but there is something really delicious and beautiful about that pot of tomatoes and onions and butter. I keep re-reading this entry over and over at work and staring at that picture. Mostly I am trying not to drool, because I would like to eat that pasta suace right now.