[Eating Rainbow | Red | Tomatoes]
We have this romantic notion about “Sunday Sauce.” Not romantic, as in the candlelit, Lady and the Tramp spaghetti dinner-for-two romantic, but the romantic, it’s a fantasy in our heads that makes us *pause to sigh* sigh, romantic.
See, we have this whole mythical scenario in our heads of what Sundays would have been like if we had been born into an Italian family. Everyone would be in the kitchen, gathered around an enormous table, or sitting at the kitchen bar, or leaning up against the bar counter, talking and laughing and talking and drinking wine (never mind that it’s Sunday, never mind that it’s probably two o’clock in the afternoon), and of course, jumping in from time to time in the preparation of “Sunday Sauce” with peeling, slicing, dicing, and stirring an enormous pot of tomato sauce that simmers for hours and hours all afternoon before the rest of the widely, deeply extended family from as far as a half-day’s drive arrive for the Sunday night pasta dinner ritual.
But it’s just our imagination.
We aren’t Italian, our extended family is beyond a half-day’s flight from here, and most importantly, we don’t have the time to spend an entire afternoon cooking. (We do, however, have the time to spend an entire afternoon drinking wine.)
Yet we hold onto the vision, and still call our simple tomato sauce “Sunday Sauce” because we do make it on Sunday. It’s an entire pot that serves four for Sunday night dinner, then lasts through several successive weeknight meals, adding the health benefits of cooked tomatoes to our diets each day.
Sarah’s Simple Sunday Tomato Sauce
loosely adapted from a recipe in Saveur Cooks Italian
makes a very large pot that will serve 4 for about 4 days
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
cloves from half a head of garlic, finely chopped
3 28-ounce cans of peeled, whole San Marzano tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste (about 1 tablespoon salt, several full turns on pepper mill)
bunch of fresh basil, chopped
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, including juice from cans, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Using a wooden spoon, stir sauce and crush tomatoes against bottom and sides of pot while cooking. Cook for about 20 minutes until juice reduces and sauce has thickened.
Add chopped basil and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Sauce will keep, covered, in refrigerator for several days.