Not everything goes right all of the time. Well, duh. Life is full of disappointments, setbacks, and losses. There are missed opportunities and regrets so heavy you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. There are dark clouds on the horizon.
Wallowing in self-pity is something I'm frankly quite good at. Not that helps me feel better about any of the above, but you know what? Sometimes it's okay to take a moment and appreciate a bit of melancholy. So long as it's just a moment.
This pasta sauce is exactly what I need when I'm in a rut. Making it is simple, methodical, and gratifying. The aromatics build in exactly the way you would expect and fill the kitchen with a smell so warm and inviting you can't help but close your eyes and smile. Heaped onto a big bowl of bow-tie pasta, this is just what I need when things aren't quite going my way. Because making this sauce does actually work out every time, and usually whatever had been bothering me before starts working out too. So go ahead, wallow in those dark cloud days. But know when and how to make your own sunshine.
Perfect Pasta Sauce
Serves 2 (ish)
I alter this pasta sauce all the time. Feel free to toss in fresh herbs or wine if you have it or even some chopped kalamata olives or fresh spinach. I just put the basic recipe up here but this sauce does really well with a little experimentation. And the herbs are all to taste, feel free to add more or less if you like. Really, this stuff is hard to screw up.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion
1 large clove of garlic
3 cups of canned, diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 tablespoon dried marjoram
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
A pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon white sugar (to taste)
A dollop of balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cooked pasta along with 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add chopped garlic, saute until fragrant (about one minute).
Add tomatoes and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in dried herbs herbs, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, and sugar. Using a potato masher, crush tomatoes until no large chunks remain. Stir in reserved pasta water. Cook sauce, allowing liquid to dissolve and sauce to thicken, about 15 minutes. Serve over any large-piece pasta (such as bow ties or penne), top with a generous sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese, and enjoy.