Three common ingredients = one uncommonly good pasta sauce, FAST

5 Jan

So we spent another evening in the emergency room and Leandro got another four stitches, this time in the forehead. With that kind of excitement going on, you can be sure that once the chocolate ice cream dinner for brave boys was up, I was STILL going to be too tired for anything elaborate in the kitchen.

Marcella Hazan to the rescue. This queen of the kitchen’s Essentials of Italian Cuisine is a much loved and much soiled recipe book over here. These days I don’t have the resources for some of the more ambitious dishes, but her tomato sauce with onion and butter is simple and perfect: three ingredients resulting in one glorious, sweet, rich sauce that you barely have to stir!

I have adapted it slightly to make it even faster (puree, rather than whole tomatoes, adjusted the butter, for example). The beauty of this one is that it can be done in the time it takes you to boil up the pasta.

Marcella recommends potato gnocchi under the sauce, but the pre-prepared ones are generally yucky and I ain’t making gnocchi myself any time soon (oh for the heavenly days that Fabiola made it for me in Rovereto!).

These days I buy fresh ravioli from Fairway Market (no preservatives and a variety of fillings – $6 for 24) and actually freeze it. It breaks off into convenient serving sizes and takes about 15 minutes to cook after you drop them in the boiling water and the boil comes back. They re-heat pretty nicely, so I make extra for my little guy’s lunch box, just adding a dab of butter to the hot ravioli so it doesn’t stick.

I used cheese ravioli this time. “Mama I really love this!”

 

Steamed broccoli can be dipped in the sauce

Tomato with Onion and Butter

28 oz. can tomato puree

6 Tbs butter

One onion, peeled and cut in half (I prefer red onion for extra sweetness, but use whatever you have; yellow is fine)

Cook all three ingredients together in a deep pot with a lid at medium to low heat until the fat begins to separate from the tomato (about 20 minutes, or the amount of time you spend boiling the pasta). The longer you cook it, the sweeter it gets, so if you have more time, use it!

Spoon over your favorite pasta and serve with loads of good grated cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano or Gran Padano)

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3 Responses to “Three common ingredients = one uncommonly good pasta sauce, FAST”

  1. Deena Kakaya September 30, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    I’m so glad to see people use butter. In know this may sound slightly outrageous but I do think that a lot of kids food in particular is like diet food these days. X

  2. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy September 30, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    Reblogged this on Hot, Cheap & Easy and commented:

    NOTE TO READERS: In honor of the passing of the Queen of the Italian Kitchen, Marcella Hazan, I reblog one the many go-to recipes I learned from her book Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. As it happens, I had made it yesterday before I had gotten the sad news. Mille Grazie, Marcella!

  3. Vanessa January 27, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    The best pasta sauce was the quickie one at the Apt in Ocean Park after soccer practice. YUM

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