Improbable Tomato Sauce that Sounds Too Simple to Work and Other Sunday Afternoon Stuff

  • 28 ounces canned plum tomatoes, with their juices and torn apart by hand
  • 1 yellow onion, don’t worry about its size
  • 5 T unsalted butter
  • Salt to taste

This is a recipe that the well versed tomato sauce maker will look at and scoff. I didn’t believe it but it came from a Marcella Hazan (her name be praised) cookbook so it was invested with hours upon years of good will, so I gave it a try. In one sense it’s amazing. In another it’s a disappointment.

The recipe instructions can be summed up as “Put all that stuff in a sauce pan and make it hot for 45 minutes.” Cut the onion in half, peel, and cut off the knot. Hold back on the salt until the end but other wise, put all that stuff in a sauce pan. I bring it to a quick boil to melt the butter but as soon as possible I turn it down to as low a simmer as I can. Stir it every so often.

In the picture you’ll note that I added a chiffonade of basil. Not necessary. I did that because the picture without a touch of green was boring.

What’s so strange about this sauce is that it just suddenly comes together. You’ll taste it at ten minutes, at fifteen, all the way up to thirty five or so minutes and ask yourself why you were so easily led astray. Then it happens. All of a sudden, God is in his heaven and all is right in the pan.

It goes from boring to sultry in a flash.

That’s the disappointing part. If you like to putter about the kitchen and mess with stuff this recipe leaves you empty handed. The work, if there was any, is done.

Remove the two onion halves and save them. Salt to taste and serve over spaghetti or rigatoni with Parmesan- Reggiano or Pecorino Romano. A little black pepper is not unwelcome.


I was in church an hour ago and there was a woman two pews ahead of us wearing hoop earrings. This is not a rant about impropriety of dress by ladies attending Mass. In my opinion any impropriety of dress is propitiated by the attendance of service – road to redemption and bless the sinner and all that.

What struck me was that she was wearing hoop earrings during this Dr. Who episode nightmare where we are all mandated to wear a mask that loops over our ears. She willingly decided to navigate that? I have problems getting it on or off with my readers.

I make fun of people I see wearing masks when driving alone in their cars. From now on I’ll look to see what manner of ear jewelry they are wearing. Maybe taking the mask off was just too big a challenge given adornment decisions.

What has this masking of the nation done to the Bluetooth audio component industry? I have “wireless” earbuds but they really aren’t. They don’t connect to my phone but there’s a wire going from the left to the right (or the right to the left should that be your preference) connecting the two like a croakie. I wish I had stock in a company that made truly wireless earbuds.


I picked up Near a Thousand Tables by the wondrously named Felipe Fernandez-Armesto who sounds like he should be general of something. The book is subtitled A History of Food.

It’s what it claims to be, a history of food from pre-historic oyster eating to modern convenience eating with interesting stops at the development of cooking devices and the Columbian exchange.

The book came out in 2002 and I was given a copy by my mother (note that I did not say that barbarian pseudo verb “gifted”) when it first came out. It sat on my shelves. I’m embarrassed to say that there are many unread books that are still there, sitting. A reading list piles up faster than a reading capacity. But I found it. It struck a fancy and I’m glad for it.

Stuck in the pages was a clipping from The New York Times Review of Books, Sunday, August 11, 2002. The author of the review, Betty Fussell, seizes on his few mentions of “ecological arrogance.” Either I or Ms. Fussell misunderstood the book. The brilliantly named mentions ecology sparingly. The book is not at all advocacy. It’s a fun read.

If you decide to pick it up, spend the extra few bucks for the hardcover version. You need to see the author’s picture. He looks like the type of rake you want to spend an evening on the town with. My guess is he’s never quibbled over the price of a bottle of wine.


If you save the onion you can later separate the layers and fill them like a little roll. I like a mix of ricotta and spinach.

Bake them and serve with a creamy tomato sauce as an appetizer. It’ll make you friends.


I don’t have a lot of links this week.

Robby Soave is his usual interesting self – Remove the Fences Surrounding the Capitol and Send the National Guard Home Now –

The twitterverse has exploded over the minimum wage. It should be noted that the minimum wage is zero and that any payment is a reflection of an employers expected benefit and that Woodrow Wilson instituted a minimum wage to keep blacks and women out of the workplace on the assumption that they couldn’t produce the value needed to keep them employed. Minimum Wages Had a Eugenic Intent – AIER.

But now the game is different. Minimum wages are a cash grab for Democratic funding unions due to contracts tied to that minimum. Why Do Unions Fund The Fight For $15 Minimum Wage? Because They Gain A Financial Windfall In Return ( All those twerps with the “If you can’t pay a living wage you don’t deserve to start a business!” are about to find out how many people can’t afford to maintain a business when you change the value of currency to labor.

Wait till they see what happens to those on a fixed income when the value of a dollar is redefined.

Representative Eric Swalwell (Twit – CA) has filed the stupidest law suit I can imagine against Trump, Trump JR., Mo Brooks, and Rudi Giuliani. What does this non debate qualifying twerp think he is accomplishing?

Culturally Swalwell (hereby referred to as the Dipshit) has a win. The media is full bore with the idea that a Trump speech inspired a breech of the Capitol twenty minutes before the speech started. They have made the mistake of declaring that there were no irregularities in voting, full stop. That was pretty stupid.

Dipshit just gave the Trump remnants another – they whipped the shit out of his side on impeachment number two leaving him more tired of winning than Clinton or Johnson – stage on which to attack their position.

As it stands the narrative is written. Dipshit just opened it to a needed correction. He should have taken the win. No fire extinguisher this round.


One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich by the possibly most banned author in human history and Never Alone by Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy arrived this week. That’s not very uplifting reading but, per the back notes of One Day… it’s the only one of his works that was allowed in the former USSR. Per an article in last month’s New Criterion by Edward Greenwood he was searched before entering the USSR for the Bible, the poet Mandelstam whom I’ve no acquaintance with as of yet, and Solzhenitsyn. Pretty good company, even if the poet sucks.

Sharasky’s, per the Tablet article The Doublethinkers – Tablet Magazine, seems particularly interesting.

I’m delving into Sovietness. I can’t promise that I’ll be done with that all next Sunday, but it’s an unkind place. We’ll see.

I’ll also be looking into more opportunities to use the word “per” for which I have an apparent affinity.


Alabama, both the men and women, won their basketball games. The men’s baseball team is 9-2. Softball is sitting at a 19 – 0. If it was not noted, we beat Ohio State and nailed the College Football Playoff. I don’t feel much need to comment on sports.

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