I have a confession to make.
I have never made pasta sauce from scratch. Ok, well, that's not true. But it was true until very recently. I had seen the magic performed; mostly by friend's parents. I have cooked with the essentials previously: tomatoes, basil and garlic. Just never for the sole purpose of making home-made pasta sauce. I thought it would be too hard. The thought also stirs up terrifying memories of my I-Ti (Italian American) mother opening a jar of tomato PASTE, putting it in a sauce pan, and declaring it fit to top pasta with no herbs or alteration of any kind. Perhaps when Northern Italy (mom's mom) and Southern Italy (mom's dad) meet and breed they don't quite know how to cook with each other and it results in culinary defeat? I don't know. (Yes, it was my Irish-Scottish heritaged dad whom I watched cook growing up, I suppose that is another shock.) My mom will kill me if she reads this, but it's all true! Yes, she fed us probably more frequently, but there is no question over who had more finesse in the kitchen.
Given all this history, I looked with great suspicion upon the "Simple Tomato Sauce" recipe in my cook book. Surely it wasn't so easy?
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tbsp olive oil
28 ounces (800 g) of whole plum tomatoes
fresh chopped basil to taste
In a saucepan on low heat, cook the garlic in the oil for a couple of minutes, until golden. Stir in the juice from the can of tomatoes.
Cut the tomatoes coarsely with a knife while they're still in the can. Add them to the garlic with the basil, salt and pepper, bring to simmer, and cook on low heat for at least 5 minutes.
It's minimally harder than opening the jar on the shelf and tossing that on your pasta, but the results are tastier, chunkier, and I know just what's in it.
Sure, it's bare bones, and it didn't take hours, and there's no meat. It's a start though.
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