April 2020 and here we are facing a worldwide pandemic. Well, there’s nothing like quarantine to get you taking up old hobbies again, right? While some are reaching for yarns of wool and knitting or pulling on their leggings and down dogging in the living room, I’ve picked up my laptop and decided to reignite some life back into BidmeadBites. Enjoy!
Pre-corona, we could wander into pretty much any supermarket and grab essential food items without a second thought (I love the fact that “essentials” at Waitrose covers pate and green lasagne). This is not a luxury everyone can count on and we are incredibly fortunate to have this privilege.
But the bare shelves of the past weeks shocked us all: cue bulk buying of bog roll like it was the end of the earth and piles of pasta packets in everyone’s trolly. And did you hear that they were planning to make a lasagne the size of Wembley stadium?!
Despite the supermarkets returning to some semblance of normality in terms of stock levels, I am definitely rethinking the recipes I’ve been preparing at home. I’ve been digging around in the cupboard more, pulling out cans of chickpeas to roast and throw into things, as well as discovering many different types of lentils to be cooked in a myriad of ways.
As the government’s recommendation is now to go to the supermarket once a week at most and leave home delivery slots for the most vulnerable, it’s a great time to get a bit more familiar with your cans and basic produce. And what could be better than a recipe the requires just half an onion, a blob of butter and a can of chopped tomatoes?
Low and behold the best pasta tomato sauce you will ever make (given the absolute minimal effort required). Called “the most famous tomato sauce on the internet” by Food 52, this is the creation of the culinary goddess Marcella Hazan and is one recipe you need in your repertoire.
How to make Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce
This serves two people with a generous portion of sauce each; to double, just add an extra can of tomatoes and use the whole onion. Increase butter and seasoning as you wish!
- 400g tinned tomatoes (whole or chopped, we won’t be fussy given the times)
- 1 yellow onion, cut in half
- 2/3 tbsp butter
- Salt (let’s say 1 tsp but it’s really to taste)
- Black pepper (let’s say 1 tsp but it’s really to taste)
- A tiny sprinkle of sugar (it really helps bring out the sweetness of the toms)
- Peel the onion and chop in half. Place face down in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat and add the tomatoes, butter, salt and pepper.
- When the tomatoes start to bubble, reduce the heat to a low simmer and sprinkle your dash of sugar. Stir every 10-15 mins until the tomatoes are no longer watery and the sauce has reduced, about 45 minutes depending on the size and shape of your saucepan.
- You will be left with a rich, thick tomato sauce. The onion can be removed.
That’s it. Serve with pasta and grate parmesan on top, or any cheese handy, because again, we won’t be fussy.