Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ava loves tomato sauce

Ava, obviously, loves Grandpa Pete's tomato sauce. Her favorite is just pure tomato sauce with, probably, farfalle, although she also likes it with penne. Her older sister, Zoe, is a touch more sophisticated, and her favorite (see previous post) is Grandpa Pete's Best Bolognese Sauce ever.

This is the season, of course, for simple, pure, fresh tomato sauce, and this presentation of pasta and sauce did not last long in Ava's dish.

The sauce is so simple to make. We get very lovely vine-ripened tomatoes at the local farmer's Market. Italian Romas are the best option.
For two pounds of tomatoes: wash them, dry, cut off any edges, and then cut them in halves or quarters.

In a saute pan large enough to hold the tomatoes, heat one-third cup of olive oil over medium heat. Finely chop five garlic cloves and add them to the oil. Cook for about fifteen seconds, letting the garlic just start to sizzle, and then add the tomatoes. Stir. Add a teaspoon or two or salt (two) and a teaspoon of sugar.

Cook, uncovered, slowly, over low/medium heat for five minutes. Should have strong simmer.Take a half cup of fresh basil (we are fortunate to have lots of basil in our garden) and tear the leaves into small pieces. Add the basil to the tomatoes and stir. If you would like, add a sprig of fresh rosemary and maybe a tablespoon of fresh oregano.

Cook for another ten minutes, stirring occasionally. The tomatoes should be soft, but still holding their shape.

Let cool, run through a food mill -- medium is good, but if you want really pure, minus all seeds, run it through medium and then fine.

Put back in saute pan, bring to a boil, and turn off. Taste for salt. Put it on your favorite pasta (farfalle is Ava's). Top with plenty of freshly grated parmesan and some basil leaves for decoration. Serve very hot.

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