My old tomcat Boris is not well. It may indeed be his time and I'm so distraught I've been wandering around the house looking for ways to distract myself from what appears to be the inevitable.
I turn to comfort food in times like these. Not necessarily to eat, but I'll often cook just to keep myself occupied. The stirring and chopping are soothing, and whatever is cooking makes the house smell good. And so I have a pot of tomato sauce simmering on the stove destined for pasta or maybe some Shirataki noodles.
If you would like the recipe, it's one of the easiest pasta sauces to make and it's also the most delicious. If you've ever had a simple pasta pomodoro in a restaurant and you can't figure out what makes it so exquisitely toothsome, well the answer is butter. That, and a slow simmer, plus a dash of baking soda to cut the acidity. It's unbelievably good considering how simple it is. You could add some 35% cream and cooked shrimp if you wanted to go all out.
Best Tomato Sauce
1 28 oz (796ml) can whole tomatoes (use San Marzano if you can find them)
5 TBSP unsalted butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 whole yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
1 tsp dried basil
splash of white wine (optional)
salt to taste
Place all the ingredients in a wide saucepan and heat until it's just boiling and the butter is melted.
Cover, and turn down the sauce to a slow, steady simmer. Set the timer for 45 minutes.
When the timer goes, remove and discard the onion halves. Squish the whole tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon against the sides of the pan. Add salt to taste.
Serve over pasta with lots of grated parmesano-reggiano (not that pre-grated stuff that comes in a can. Buy yourself to a big wedge like they sell at Costco and you'll never go back to the cheap stuff.)