Monday, August 4, 2008

Classic Tomato Sauce

Marcella Hazan is one of my favorite Italian cookbook authors. Her book, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, is a fantastic resource if you love Italian food. She has many great recipes for pasta sauces - this one is a true classic and couldn't be much simpler.

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
2 lbs fresh, ripe tomatoes (blanched, skinned and coarsely chopped) OR 2 c. canned Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juices
5 T butter
1 med. onion, peeled and cut in half

Put the tomatoes in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for 45 minutes, or until the fat floats free from the tomato. Stir from time to time, mashing any large pieces of tomato in the pan with the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and correct for salt. Remove onion before tossing the sauce with pasta (save it for the stock pot).

This sauce may be frozen - just remove the onion before freezing. Marcella says this is the "unsurpassed sauce for Potato Gnocchi" - little potato and flour dumplings cooked like pasta in water. Instead of making these from scratch - which I've done before, I found some all prepared to be boiled at Trader Joe's, so that is what I'm using. Cheating, I know!

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