Here´s a speedy version of this tomato sauce. A good, honest, solid, serviceable, auxiliary sauce. Not a "you´ll think you´ve died and gone to heaven in Sicily" sauce. Just a sauce, like the one you wish could be found jarred. It takes about half an hour to make but tastes like it simmered for far longer.
So here it is: Put two kilo tins or four half kilo tins of peeled whole plum tomatoes, with their juice, in a pressure cooker. Add a peeled onion cut in untidy chunks, one or two cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, and if you have parmesan rind, that, too. A generous glug of olive oil, 1/3 of a cup or so, and that´s it.
Lock the lid, bring it up to pressure and leave it for 2o minutes, or 30 if you like.
Once done, you´ll think "oh, this isn´t working" because you´ll see tomatoes floating in a lot of liquid. But here´s what you do:
Take the liquid and put it in a sepparate container. You´ll get about three cups. This is a strong tomatoey broth that´s perfect for soups (just add a can of chickpeas, some uncooked pasta and frozen spinach and cook until the pasta is done).
The tomatoes and onion and garlic you puree in a blender. They´ll turn a bit orange, but who cares?
You now have about four cups of an excellent sauce to spread on pizza bases, add to chickpeas with spinach, or to Godfather part III sauce.
And please don´t boast about your luscious juicy fresh tomatoes everywhere around now it´s summer. Just don´t, ok?
At first we lived on sandwiches and scrambled eggs, but we soon graduated to roast chicken, and once the smell of stock drifted to every corner of the house (which I normally hate) it felt much more like home.
I´m still struggling with the shopping, as is only natural, because we´ve just arrived. Everything is very different from what I´m used to. Where before I had no pantry to speak of, and a very good market at my doorstep, now I have huge cupboards shops an uphill 15 minute walk away.
There is a fishmonger who sells mostly very unfamiliar hot- smoked fish (cool), a butcher who looks like he is about to referee the Wimbledon final but who has everything already cut up, so I don´t recognize anything, and nowhere to buy vegetables but a supermarket.
This is confusing, but I love to shop for food so I´ll figure it out. And even though we have a cavernous dishwasher, doing the dishes with that lovely view of our overgrown garden is quite a pleasure.
The cupboards, though a shadow of their former selves, still yield up treasures. A tin of sardines, half a head of garlic, ok then, let´s see what´s left in the pasta drawer: nothing. Only, no, wait, there´s a package of japanese soba noodles. I wonder, will the buckwheat go well with the sardines? Probably. I go to the freezer to get some ice for a glass of water while I cook, and that´s when I see the little packets of nuts. What to do? A sauce foriana of sorts, with less garlic and pumpkin seeds as well as pinenuts, because that´s what I have. Except that my blender is in a box somewhere, so instead of a paste, I make a chopped up mix of nuts and garlic, and very delicious it is, too. Perfect with the robust sardines, and a great match for the noodles. Next time I´ll probably choose normal pasta, or perhaps whole wheat, but for tonight I couldn´t be happier with my meal.
You can find the recipe for sauce foriana here. It´s one of those oh-oh-oh why haven´t I been making this every week of my life things. It´s supposed to be tossed with pasta, but have a jar in the fridge and you´ll find yourself putting it iinto all sorts of things, like steamed broccoli, focaccia or creamy soups.