(Marcella’s Sugo di Pomodoro)
Simple as it is, this recipe is not foolproof. Do not even consider making it with hothouse tomatoes. It is totally dependent on sun-ripened fruit. Once you’ve got access to great tomatoes, you may as well make up a big batch of it. It can then be preserved in jars for the months ahead, or kept in the freezer. Then when you are fed up with winter, you can serve it up tossed with a steaming bowl of pasta and bring a welcome waft of summer sun to a winter’s day.
2 kg (about 4½ pounds) ripe tomatoes, washed and coarsely chopped
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
100g (3½ ounces) butter (YES!!!!)
¼ tsp salt or more to taste
Small handful of basil leaves
1 Put tomatoes and onion in a large saucepan. Cover with a lid and set pan over a medium heat. When bubbling, remove lid then turn heat to low and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
2 Pass through a mouli-legumes or sieve then return to cleaned saucepan with butter, salt and some basil leaves. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn heat down and simmer gently until well reduced and sauce-like. This will take at least 45 minutes. Towards the end, as the sauce thickens, stir often to prevent it sticking on the bottom of the pan. Check seasoning, adding more salt or basil.
3 Serve with homemade pasta noodles such as tagliatelle or pappardelle, or with spaghetti. Parmesan cheese is optional.