Thursday, March 18, 2010
Best Kiddie Sauce Ever!
I admit being skeptical about a sauce that everyone was raving about with just three overly simple ingredients. How can tomatoes, one onion and some butter be that great? Well, I stand corrected. This sauce is fantastic and the real story is that it is the magical combination that will get any difficult food you want into your little tike's mouth. Seriously, my little man is gobbling this stuff up like he has never eaten before in his life. Simply opening the fridge to take the leftovers out for dinner triggers a bouncing around in the chair reaction. Of course, then he devours it in about three minutes and I have my silent time for the night. Yes, three whole minutes is what I have these days and you know what, I will take it and say thank you very much!
So, about the taste. It is very subtle and light, yet inexplicably addictive. I think the best way to say this is that the simplified ingredient list really allows the tomatoes to shine through and pop in your mouth. The onion adds a delicate undertone and the butter provides some depth and heartiness to the tomato/onion combination. This is almost the peanut butter and jelly of the sauce world, uncomplicated, robust yet smooth and wonderfully comforting in it's unadorned form. Enjoy!
Adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking
28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes from a can (San Marzano)
5 tablespoons salted butter
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
Kosher salt to taste
Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 1 hour, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, discard the onion, add Kosher salt to taste and keep warm while you prepare your pasta. If there are chunks of tomato still floating around, use an immersion blender to smooth out the rough spots. A big piece of tomato in a little unsuspecting mouth could cause a choking situation so please be cognizant of that.
Serve with noodles or in the case of these pictures for little mouths, bite size shells or elbows.