Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A really lovely sauce

Sometimes Bon Appetit is way too schmancy for me. I mean, I'm simply not going to purchase sheep's milk ricotta or chervil leaves. I'm not sure the grocery store I go to even carries Meyer lemons and I don't know the difference between a regular anchovy and the alici di menaica variety of anchovies.

But this magazine knows what it's doing; this much is clear judging by the few Bon Appetit recipes I've tried. So when I stumbled across a recipe called "Basic Tomato Sauce," I was like: Yes. I can do this.

Here is what is so fabulous about this recipe. The ingredients are: a carrot, four garlic cloves, fresh thyme, an onion, olive oil, canned peeled plum tomatoes, and salt and pepper. So simple.

Bon Appetit prefers San Marzano tomatoes. They're undoubtedly more expensive. These were something like $3.69 a can at Whole Foods, but if you think about it, the meal still ends up being dirt cheap, especially considering that sauce is enough for more than a pound of pasta.

Here I've got olive oil, onions, garlic, carrot, and thyme sauteing in the pan. I took a photo of this stage because a heavenly smell wafts up from the dish at this point. 

Sidenote: Can I just say how much I love my new stainless steel pots and pans? I got a 10-piece set on sale for $99. It's not available any more, otherwise I'd link to it. Anyway, if you're cooking on nonstick pans and haven't switched over yet, consider it! It's a whole other world. Plus you won't be poisoning yourself with nonstick chemicals anymore! One tip: cook on lower heat with stainless steel pans to prevent food from sticking. This has been your public service announcement for the day.

Here's the end product. A basic tomato sauce, over spaghetti noodles, with a little parmesan on top. The recipe calls for the use of a food mill (ha!) to break the sauce down from chunky to saucy. I stuck an immersion blender in the pan when it was done cooking, and it turned out completely fabulous. You can also use a food processor, or probably a blender if you're a real rebel like that.

This sauce is just so flavorful yet simple. My husband loved it. His usual gripe with spaghetti sauce is that it's too heavy or acidic, and this is neither.

As usual, Bon Appetit has the recipe up on their site, which I love them for. It even includes nutritional information. Enjoy!


  1. I've yet to make a sauce with that kind of tomato...I should try it without telling my (Italian) husband and see if he'll be like a fun experiment. For me. Or something.

  2. Looks pretty yum.

    I didn't like my stainless pans, and retired them. I think it's mostly due to the heat issue. My husband likes to cook everything on SUPER HOT, so he was scorching the hell out of them. When food gets stuck to them they are a bitch to clean.

  3. As per your advice I made this for dinner tonight! Sooooo good!