A few weeks ago Yahoo featured a recipe called "The Easiest (and Best) Tomato Sauce Recipe". It only had 3 ingredients! Well, of course I had to try that for myself, and since it was only 3 ingredients I had everything necessary on hand. So while I read the 805 reader's comments about the recipe, 801 from people who had never tried the recipe but were sure it was a joke and mercilessly bashed it, I put the Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes (ATK's #! canned tomatoes) in a skillet, set a halved onion in, and added a stick of butter. That's it, 3 ingredients. For 45 minutes I occasionally went over and stirred it, using the back of a wooden spoon to mash the tomatoes.
As I waited to see the butter separate, which the recipe said is the indication that its done, I read all those comments about how this couldn't possibly be authentic Italian. It had no garlic, no oregano, it doesn't slow cook for hours, etc, etc.. Pages and pages from outraged doubters. And I agreed. I secretly didn't think there was any way this humble recipe would turn out other than bland, and I was already planning how I would doctor it with wine and garlic so that I could serve it for dinner.
By the time it was finished I was ready with garlic and fresh herbs to salvage the experiment. But just to be fair, I dipped a piece of bread in to taste. OMG.
I thought it was delicious! Sweet, savory, and rich - which you would expect with a stick of butter in it. It was all about the tomatoes.
At this point I should tell you that I am a Raos gal. I have shelves of jars of Raos. I have eaten at the restaurant (and yes, "you gotta know somebody"). I have made Raos actual recipe from Good Morning America including tracking down cans of the San Marzano tomatoes that Raos has flown in fresh daily to make their gravy. Really, I LOVE this stuff!
Well shut my mouth if this sauce wasn't rich and tomatoey and totally authentic tasting like you get in the San Marzano region of Italy. In fact, of the 1% of posters who actually knew this recipe, most of them said things like "Oh yeah, this is how my Nana who's from San Marzano makes her gravy. No fuss, just tomatoes onion and butter. In San Marzano its all about the tomatoes"
I never did doctor it. As instructed, I removed the onion and served it over pasta topped with fresh basil. It was delicious. In fact the next day I wanted it again for lunch. I had a near empty jar of Raos in the fridge so I did a taste comparison. I put Raos on one half of the pasta and this on the other. Anybody wanna buy 12 jars of Raos Marinara sauce?
I'm not saying its perfect for everyone because if you like garlic, or herbs or meat in your gravy, this would simply be an easy, rich tomatoey, 3 ingredient starting point. Did I mention easy?
Do you have a favorite EASY recipe?