Tomato Sauce I

You know, for pasta.

This is the first of three basic tomato sauces that you should have in your arsenal. Pasta is a cooking person’s dream: it’s quick, cheap, healthy, and tasty. We have some variation of pasta with tomato sauce at least once a week.

A little olive oil
2-4 garlic cloves OR a small onion
2 14 oz cans peeled plum tomatoes in juice†
Parmesan
1/2 lb pasta, any kind you like

1. Heat the olive oil (maybe 2 tablespoons) in a large frying pan over medium heat, like a notch above exactly medium. If you’re using garlic, just lightly crush the cloves, keeping them whole (so you can take them out later). If using onion, slice it thinly or chop it into small dice. Saute garlic or onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes, until soft, adding salt as they cook.

2. Meanwhile, put a big pot of water on another burner, add a generous palmful of salt, and turn the heat up to high. Drain the juice from the cans of tomatoes and add the tomatoes to the pan, smashing them up a bit with your wooden spoon. Stir it together, but don’t go crazy with the stirring; let the sauce come to the boil and then turn the heat down a little.

3. When your water is boiling, add your pasta, and cook as long as the package tells you to. The tomatoes only need to cook for about 15 minutes for the thing to become sauce. You’re looking to keep it at a moderate bubbling throughout—not crazy boiling, but not just sitting there in the pan either. Taste for seasoning, keeping in mind that tomatoes love salt. Oh and don’t forget to take out the garlic, if you used it. When your pasta is done to your liking, drain, and mix with the sauce. Top with grated parmesan and ground pepper.

†Two cans of tomatoes actually make enough sauce for three people, which is a pretty annoying reality. This leaves you with two options if you’re cooking for two. You can:

  • use one can and eat pasta like the Italians do, with the sauce more like a condiment for the pasta, which is supposed to be the main event; or
  • use two cans (like we always do), and ask yourself if you actually give a shit how you’re ‘supposed’ to eat your fucking dinner, and instead just let yourself enjoy the fact that you can afford to buy two measly cans of tomatoes and thus can live like a fucking king eating twice as much delicious sauce as those poor suckers still stuck in the old world.
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