Letting the Sauce Simmer

I grew up being taught to let the spaghetti sauce simmer all day.  Then, I went to a cooking class, with now famous foodie, Andrew Zimmern. He said it wasn’t necessary to cook the sauce all day.  I resisted his advice and continued to do so.

Then when we moved to LA, into a smaller house with a hallway kitchen, and no gourmet stove, I stopped cooking my sauce all day.  Instead I threw in whole tomatoes and paste into my Vitamix, blended, put mixture in pan, heat and Voilà– done.  Quick, yes, but something wasn’t right. It made me kinda angry. Like I lost touch with something sacred, especially when my husband took the sauce over and added ground beef.

Then, on a rainy Sunday, domestic bliss returned.  I was cooking sauce and on this day, I am taking my time.

Garlic:  Instead of sprinkling garlic salt like I’ve been doing, as if that is a substitute for the real deal,  I am taking the risk of my hands smelling of garlic all day, to peel off the paper like shell, cut the ends, and dig my finger tips into that last layer of garlic paper to expose its smooth body.

As I slice, I see my father’s hands cut the cloves to oval slivers of perfection and toss into the pain of slightly simmering olive oil.

As the garlic simmers, I watch until, as my father says, it becomes lightly browned.

Once garlic is ready, I pour two cans of crushed tomatoes, two cans tomato paste in a pot, add the olive oil and garlic and season.

As the sauce comes to a boil, I get my hands dirty in ground beef. Roll into balls, put into an olive oil soaked pan to brown.

Back to the sauce, I notice a strange thing happening. Little holes open and like geysers at Yellowstone, steam pours through them. I call my family in to watch.  My daughter, Alyssa is as amused as I am. My husband isn’t. “You’ve never seen that before, he says?” and walks away.

How could I see it, I’ve been throwing my sauce together in a matter of minutes before today….

Once the meatballs are browned, in they go to join the sauce.  Heat turned to low, cover on, with a slight opening to vent.  Simmer- all day……

Bring the gluten-free pasta to an al dente boil and you have meal made in love and with time.

Simple.

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