October 09, 2009


I'm racing towards the end of the work day and it's only 9 AM. Maybe if I type faster time will speed ahead like the three Miata's I've witnessed over the pass two days racing through the congested beltway. Is there a Miata convention in town? I had no idea that car, the drivers, could be so wily. They must have superior calf muscles, in the vein of Fred Flintstone, to reach such speeds.

All I need is fortitude and 5:00. Honestly...4:45...maybe 4:30. All I need is fortitude and 4:30 on this day. Then I can race to the off ramp and sit in traffic with everyone else who thought that leaving a little bit early might be a good idea.

A fresh pot of sauce awaits at home. Made last night, eaten with ziti. One bowl. I know, I know...one bowl.

Indulge me while I make the sauce again for you, dear reader.

I pulled out the 2 quart saucepan and placed it onto the counter next to the cutting board. Generous glugs of olive oil ensued. More than the amount needed for just one can of San Marzano tomatoes. I then generously flecked the oil with crushed red pepper. This was followed up with two minced cloves of garlic and about a tablespoon of finely diced red onion.

I placed the saucepan onto the front left burner. This burner is our gentle, slow simmering burner, perfect for sauces, soups, and the likes. At this point the food mill was pulled out and the can of San Marzano opened. Click, click, click...and the flame is ignited under the pan. With wooden spoon I shuffled the garlic and onion around. Every once in a while I'd pull the pan off the heat and roll everything around with expert wrist action. When everything was just at that point, the point of no return, the point were you have to add something, else the garlic will start to brown and bitter, I placed the mill right over the saucepan and dumped the tomatoes in. Why dirty another bowl? I milled the tomatoes in quickly. The sound of that first dose of sauce hitting the hot oil has to be one of my favorite kitchen sounds.

The sad remains of the mill moved stage right, into the sink. The wooden spoon stirred and stirred until everything was mingling happily. I added salt and pepper, then a tablespoon of frozen tomato paste.

Roberto enters, he's just come in from gathering a large quantity of basil for the sauce. 'The basil is dying' he says. You wouldn't know it from the hearty bunch he's just brought inside. The leaves dark green and strong. The smell, the wonderful smell that crawls up inside your nose and won't let go.

He washes and readies for the sauce. A generous quantity has been cut into thin ribbons. It looks like edible confetti. He misses one tiny leaf, which I proceed to eat. 'Put all of it?' he asks.

All of it he puts. I now declare thee 'A Pot of Generous'. I didn't say it then, but it seems more than appropriate to say now.

The sauce simmered and bubbled while the water came to a boil. And that was dinner. That's our sauce. A kind of sauce, anyway. No doubt we'll finish tonight over a plate of linguine or another half pound of ziti...or ditalini, eaten with a spoon.

Something to look forward to.


  1. oh delish tracy!! have fun eating. :-)

  2. I think milling tomatoes is one of lifes nicer tasks....I know this dinner - it's a good one and you describe it really beautifully.

  3. I couldn't agree more...It is one of lifes nicer tasks...


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