Wednesday, February 3, 2010

All tomatoes are not created equal....

This I found out when I substituted a fairly common brand of whole peeled tomatoes in a recipe that recommended San Marzano tomatoes. But different can a can of tomatoes be? The color, the sweetness, the ripeness was all "off" in the cheapo brand. I went to the grocery store today to buy another can of the "right" stuff and I couldn't believe my eyes. The freakin' can was $6.99!! Now I know I didn't pay that price the first time. Or at least I don't think I did?!? I just know I was looking for San Marzano tomatoes and picked up the first can I saw. Maybe I did wind up paying the premium but now that I've tasted the difference I think it's worth it.

Here's some interesting info about San Marzano tomatoes.

Now go out, buy yourself some San Marzano tomatoes (I bought Cento) and make yourself this totally yummalishious sauce. I guarantee you'll fall in love!!

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions
Adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking

Serves 4 as a main course; makes enough sauce to lightly coat most of a pound of spaghetti

28 ounces (800 grams) whole peeled tomatoes from a can (San Marzano, if you can find them)*
5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt to taste

Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan (it fit just right in a 3-quart) over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes, 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 salt to taste and keep warm while you prepare your pasta.

Serve with spaghetti, with or without grated parmesan cheese to pass.

It's 10pm. Do you think it's too late for a bowl of pasta??

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