Red Sauce

You know with all this food blogging and the quest to find something new and exciting, I tend to forget about the basics that make everyone happy.  I mean the pasta with pancetta and chick peas was awesome, and so was the cauliflower ravioli, but what about the lowly red sauce?

While shopping last week, we found this cool looking artisan pasta that had bubbles on the surface, almost like they were toasted.  We usually don’t buy dried pasta, but this looked like it would be interesting to take some pictures of, so into the cart it went.

After snapping the pics of the raw ingredients, I figured what the hell, since everything is already out let me make a basic marinara.  Or is it a pomodoro?  Does it matter?

OK, enough chit-chat, let’s see the food already! Can you see the bubbles on the pasta?

…and after a little coaxing:

Never mind the crappy wine, we  drank a nice Barolo.  For the picture I grabbed what was handy, this will likely be a regift when I go to friend’s house.  Just kidding, if you are friends with me I always bring quality ripple.  I promise.

As to the photo, I am not sure why it looks a little pink, it was definitely not pink when we ate it.  Also that basil seems a little out of control.  Better cut back on the Miracle Gro.

Ingredients

Sorry, I don’t really know how many it serves.  I just winged it and we pigged out.
  • About 8 tomatoes
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, diced fine
  • 1 decent sized onion, diced fine
  • olive oil
  • handful of basil
  • grated parmesan (the good stuff, no canned cheese here)
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • tablespoon of tomato paste
  • smidge of anchovy paste (optional)

Directions

  • Skin the tomatoes using the “X” trick – make a small x in the bottom of a tomato using a paring knife, dip in boiling water for 30 seconds or so, and dip into ice water.  The skin should just slip off.  If it is reluctant, stick it back in the boiling water for a bit.  That’ll teach it a lesson!
  • Simmer the garlic slowly in a tablespoon or two of olive oil.  If it starts to turn brown, you’re too hot, and you should add the onions immediately (to help cool it down) and lower the heat.
  • Slowly simmer the onions until translucent.
  • Add the hot pepper and toast for a moment.  You can also add the pastes now.
  • While all this is going on,  cut the tomatoes into 8th’s and remove the seeds keeping the hulls and ribs.  Save the tomato goop for a soup later, but you won’t be needing it for this recipe.
  • Add the tomatoes to the pot, heat, and liquify using a stick blender.  If you don’t have a stick blender, you can blend the whole kit and caboodle in your regular blender too.  Just be careful to not hurt anyone, blending hot liquid ain’t fun.  If you have no desire to blend, then a rustic sauce it will be.
  • Add a little salt and pepper and stir it around for about an hour or so.  You can do more, you can do less.  That’s what’s cool about being an adult.  You call the shots.
  • Chiffonade your basil (little strips, man, little strips).  Put 3/4 in the sauce now for a few minutes, and save the rest to sprinkle on at the end.
  • Cook your pasta.   Al dente for me please.  If you need directions for boiling your pasta, you are beyond my help but my tip is to use really salty water.  Really salty, like the sea.  The Mediterranean preferably.
  • Drain your pasta.  Don’t.  Ever. Rinse.
  • Plate it up.  I like the pasta and then the sauce, but some like to mix it all up before plating.
  • Mangia.
  • Oh yeah, don’t forget the wine and cheese.  You’ll need these.