Nicola's Perfect Tomato Sauce
untreated skillet (should be non-stick)
fresh tomatoes (plum are best but use whatever looks the freshest)
good quality extra virgin olive oil
any other vegetables you wish
any meat you may like
corn starch (for emergency thickening, mix corn starch with cold water and add to sauce while boiling)
1. heat the pan up and pour in some olive oil
2. first add the onion (sliced to preferred size) and soften (if adding other vegetables, put harder vegetables in before the onion - for heat add poblano pepper)
3a. add tomato (cut in quarters with hard part of top removed) once previous vegetables are soft. Let them stew and blister. I find the best to move them around with is a plain kitchen fork. While stirring, change which side of the tomato is exposed to the pan. Occasionally, press on the tomatoes with the back of the fork to see how soft they are. They will cook down. Do not stab, but pressing with the back of the fork will help blend with other ingredients. Once tomatoes are soft the sauce should be thick
3b. Start boiling water for pasta (or searing meat if this sauce is for meat)
4. If the sauce is too thick, add more EVOO. If it has not thickened by the time the tomatoes are soft you are out of luck and will need to use cornstarch (the viagra for jumpstarting a good sauce).
5a. Once the sauce is thick you can start adding salt. Sprinkle with fingers so you can see how much you're putting in. Taste in between giving about 5 minutes before adding more to allow flavors to marry each other) / At this point
5b. Add pasta to water (preferably fresh)
6. Mix pasta and sauce in a separate bowl than cooking. The skillet is too hot to mix the pasta in and will burn the pasta.
Pairs Well With
My friend Vicky has been married to a year to a great guy, Nicola, who she works with on a cruise ship. Nicola is from Italy and since I've met him I no longer use canned or bottled tomato sauce.