David sent me a link to a recipe a few weeks ago for a super simple tomato sauce. As I’m always interested in sources, I looked up the recipe’s author, Marcella Hazan, turns out she’s an authority on Italian cooking. Quite by accident, when browsing a used bookstore, I came across her original cook book The Classic Italian Cook Book as well as a later recipe book Marcella’s Italian Kitchen (both at 50% off!), and managed to score them for a grand total of $9. Her tomato sauce recipe recommends pairing it with potato gnocchi, and so we did.
adapted from Marcella Hazan’s The Classic Italian Cook Book
Serves 2 to 3
1 lb fresh tomatoes
1/8 lb butter
1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
1/8 tsp granulated sugar
8 oz. gnocchi
Wash tomatoes in cold water. Cut them in half length-wise and cook in a covered pan until they have simmered for 10 minutes. Purée the tomatoes and put back into the pot. Add butter, onion, 3/4 tsp salt and sugar and cook at a slow but steady simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Taste and correct for salt. Discard the onion. Prepare the gnocchi by adding them to boiling water of several minutes or until they float to the top. Drain and serve the tomato sauce over top.
A few notes on preparation: D followed the recipe pretty closely; however, he didn’t remove the onion before serving (he couldn’t bear the thought of not using half an onion).
The recipe sold itself well…light and fresh, but still flavourful. D fried up a breaded chicken breast, and served it sliced on the side. This turned out to be a wise move, as the gnocchi by itself probably wouldn’t have been filling enough for dinner. D really liked the onions, which were nice and sweet from simmering alongside the tomatoes. All in all, a nice, simple meal, and sometimes simplicity is best.