Run, Cook, Eat!


Rain, Super-Easy Pasta Sauce.

It’s raining and soggy and thundery and gross in San Francisco. We generally don’t have thunderstorms here, which surprises me, having grown up in the midwest. But we’ve had 3 so far this year…two in the past week. And we’re in the midst of a prediction of 10 days of rain.

Since we’re in for constant rain for at least a week, I went out to do my intervals last night regardless of weather. It was pouring and miserable. On my jog over to the track I spotted another girl going for a run. I caught her eye, and we both laughed audibly at the sheer ridiculousness of what we were doing.

My intervals were pretty crappy – I couldn’t keep my pace, and the combination of weird rippling rainy track and my new shoes made all sorts of new muscles hurt. So I called it quits as soon as I could, only doing 2 of the 1-mile repeats at goal pace, and doing the third one at a tempo/long run pace.

I did this partially in order to go home and make PASTA SAUCE. In particular, the awesome-looking pasta sauce I’d spotted on Smitten Kitchen that I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about since she posted it on Sunday.

The sauce recipe is simple enough that I think I can convey it in its entirety in three sentences:

Super Easy Pasta Sauce

Cut a medium onion in half and remove the peel. Add 28 oz (one can) of whole peeled tomatoes, the onion halves, and 5 tbs butter to a pot, and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Salt to taste, remove the onion halves, and serve (with or without Parmesan) over noodles.

The End.

Easy enough. But did it live up to expectations? Maybe not. After seeing how many food bloggers (Smitten Kitchen, Orangette, The Wednesday Chef) raved over this simple recipe, I was expecting game-changing life-affirming tomato sauce. And it wasn’t.

But it was good. Solid. Simple. And incredibly cheap. It wasn’t overly acidic like many simple homemade pasta sauces, and the butter was pleasant. The onions seemed to sweeten it lightly. I will certainly save this recipe for more easy weeknight meals, but it wasn’t the amazing pasta sauce I was hoping to find.

At risk of removing the minimalism that makes this recipe so appealing, I might make a few changes next time. Next time I think I’ll add a few cloves of peeled garlic in the same manner as the onions. Including fresh herbs removes the pantry appeal of the dish, but some chopped basil on top would have been lovely as well.

But it was some good solid comfort food that made my rainy night better.

Sauce recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen who in turn adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking.

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