Considering how difficult it was for Matt to pick a birthday dessert, I'm sure you can imagine the difficulty of picking a main dish. He didn't say much, but I remember spaghetti being part of our conversation one day. I don't ever make spaghetti, and certainly not with my own homemade red sauce.
This is because I live with the ultimate critic: Marc Piscitello is Italian. I call his dad "Don Vito". He fries Italian breadcrumbs like his grandma to put on top of pasta.
But here I was, about to feed ten people. As countless church suppers have proven, if you're trying to feed a lot of people easily, make spaghetti. I decided to risk Marc's judgement.
A bottled sauce, of course, would not do. Molly over at Orangette (who just released a book) posted this recipe, which sounded easy enough, ages ago. And how could I not love something with "onions" and "butter" in the title?
And honestly, the sauce was great. But the real winner here are the onions that Molly "discards" at the end of the recipe (I edited that part out...no one should make that mistake). These onions have been simmering in tomatoes for about an hour, getting sweet and melty. They were great with a sprinkling of salt and some Parmesan.
I suppose I should have asked Marc what he thought before I wrote this entry. I know he didn't have anything negative to say that night, so one can infer that didn't not like it. Oh, and Matt did, which I suppose was the important part. It was his birthday after all.
Tomato sauce with Onions and Butter
2 cups whole, peeled, canned plum tomatoes, chopped, with their juices (about one 28-oz. can)
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in quarters
Salt, to taste
Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter, and the onion quarters in a medium saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, at a very slow but steady simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary, for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free from the tomato. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and salt as needed.
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