Monday, November 25, 2013

The Perfect Dinner Recipe for Hectic Lives

At some point last week, I read Leslie's post about the simplest tomato sauce for pasta ever:  4 ingredients that simmer for 45 minutes to make a perfect sauce.  No chopping of onions.  Canned tomatoes.  Could it really be this easy?

I'm delighted to report that it can be.  Easy and delicious.  Like Leslie and her spouse, my spouse and I ate the whole thing in one night.  And cheap:  I used Hunt's petite diced tomatoes.  That can cost roughly $1.50, the pasta cost $1.50, the butter maybe 50 cents, maybe a dollar, the onion maybe a dollar, if that much.  Our whole meal was roughly $5.  Amazing.

The next night we had a dinner of mashed potatoes and New York strip steaks.  I kept thinking, this meal cost almost $25, but last night's meal was so much better.

And did I mention how amazing it tasted?  My spouse and I have very different preferences in tomato sauce, and we both loved this dish.

We need more of these recipes:  simple pantry ingredients transformed into something nutritious and filling--and YUMMY.  It's good to remember that dinner can be this easy.  All we need are a few more recipes like this one, and we're set for weeknight suppers.  Or elegant dinner parties.  Or anything in between.

Here's the recipe.  It really is this simple:


•2 cups tomatoes, with their juices (for example, a 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes)

•5 tablespoons butter

•1 onion, peeled and cut in half



1. Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter and the onion halves in a saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt.

2. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a spoon. Add salt as needed.

3. Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta. This recipe makes enough sauce for a pound of pasta.

~Recipe by Marcella Hazan, who died recently.  I hadn't ever heard of her.  This recipe convinces me that I need to find out more.

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