I consider myself a bit of authority on tomato sauce. While living in student residence in my first year of university, I ate pasta with tomato sauce every night. True story. Those were the good ol’ days when pasta, being low fat, was considered a health food. Sigh.
Notwithstanding the depth and breadth of my tomato sauce experience I struggled for years to find a recipe that really knocked it out of the park. Until now. Enter Marcella Hazan, who I am told by the ever-reliable Wikipedia is “one of the foremost authorities on Italian cuisine”. Her tomato sauce with butter and onion (I know that sounds a bit gnarly, but bear with me!) has become a bit of a food blogger legend. Google “Marcella Hazan tomato sauce” and see for yourself. One is not a proper blogger until one opines on Ms. Hazan’s sauce, apparently, and so I weigh in…
As it turns out this sauce fits perfectly into my overall mommy-has-no-time-to-cook theme. The sauce has the double benefit of being (1) the best tomato sauce you will ever eat, and (2) the easiest tomato sauce you will ever make. And by easy, I mean: you barely even need to stir it easy. I am dead serious. I have taken to making a pot of this sauce weekly, and sometimes twice and thrice weekly even, on the back of the stove while I’m busy making something else, and then using it for dinner the following day. You literally put three ingredients into a pot, turn it on and mush it all up a few times, and an hour later you’ve got a rich, toothsome, fabulously versatile sauce.
The sauce is great on noodles topped with a bit of shaved parmesan, goat or feta cheese (as I’ve shown it above), or stirred into cooked crumbled sausage and greens and poured over quinoa or some stubby pasta (as I’ve Instagrammed below). It’s also a fabulous base for spicy baked eggs (recipe to come soon!), a topper for chicken parmigiana and a simple homemade pizza sauce. I haven’t tried it, but I can imagine it might also make a great starting point for a quick chick pea curry. Fodder for a future post, I’m sure.
AND…if very simple, very delicious and very versatile are not enough to commend this sauce to you, it is also the stuff that toddler dreams are made of. Evidence: