Friday, May 21, 2010

essential life skills

I made tomato sauce yesterday for some friends, before a great night of parties and dancing and lingering in the street.

Good tomato sauce is a life skill. There are a few things I've always wanted to learn to do, things that I believe are essential. For example, I feel that everyone should know how to tie a tie, drive a stick shift, make really great tomato sauce, and roll a joint. Essential life skills, although out of my own list, I can only claim to make great tomato sauce.

It's really my father's recipe. When I was a kid I would walk home from school and smell tomato sauce all the way down the block. Our poor neighbors, to smell that wonderful garlic smell and not be able sit down to dinner at our table! My father has made this sauce the same way as long as I can remember, and never used a recipe. When I asked him to try and create one so I could try to make this sauce for myself, here's what I received (I won't try and standardize the measurements or list the ingredients because this is more true to his methods, and easy enough to follow):

Dad's Tomato Sauce

In a large pot, heat up a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and add around 4 cloves minced or pressed garlic, until it just browns. Italian Whole Peeled Tomatoes- I use one very large can and blend it with a standard blender, then add it to the pot with half of a small 6 ounce can of tomato paste. If you can't get a hold of a very large can of the above (or don't want to blend), you can use 2 or 3 cans of crushed tomatoes (28 ounces each) or similar.

Add a bay leaf or two and pour a glass of red wine into the pot, and while you're at it, pour yourself a glass of red wine to enjoy while you're cooking. Let the mixture come to a boil then lower the heat, stirring occasionally, of course.

During this time you could be adding additional spices, such as (well, definitely) oregano, basil, parsley, fresh ground pepper, salt, and any additional Italian seasonings you can get your hands on (sage, thyme, rosemary?), and don't forget a generous portion of crushed red pepper flakes. In the past I added a tablespoon of sugar, but I don't anymore, but you may opt to do so to give it a little sweetness.

1 comment:

  1. two things: that was a really great tomato sauce, and I like your list. I can do everything on that list EXCEPT make tomato sauce

    -your constantly hungry, clash-listening buddy