If you want to try your hand at Italian cooking from scratch, but aren't sure what all to do, I have a great -and simple- recipe for you. A great deal of Italian food is based in or around a sauce. For southern Italian cuisine, the tomato-based sauces are generally the rule.
Today, I'm showing you a recipe from a great cookbook that was my first "textbook" for learning traditional Italian cooking, "The Art of Italian Cooking," by Maria LoPinto. It originally came out in the late 1940s, and it's still a very good resource. There are also sample menus for traditional Italian meals and festivals (fun!). Unless you really want a pristine collectable, you can have this cookbook for less than $10, including shipping. I just ordered a replacement copy that was $0.01 for the book and $3.99 for the shipping. Read on for a recipe from this cookbook, "Salsa Semplice di Pomodoro" ("Simple Tomato Sauce #2").
So here we go!
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 sliced onions
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2-1/2 cups water
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Fry onion in oil about 5 minutes or until medium brown
- Add tomato paste. Fry 3 minutes, stirring constantly
- Add oregano, salt, and pepper, then 2-1/2 cups water; cover.
- Simmer over low heat for 25 minutes.
That's all there is to it! This sauce is easily and quickly prepared, and may be used on any type of pasta. It's also a great sauce for making pizza from scratch. This recipe is sufficient for 1 pound of pasta. Serve very hot. You'll have enough sauce for 2-3 12" pizzas, depending on how much sauce you like on your pizza.
Recipe Source: "Salsa Semplice di Pomodoro" ("Simple Tomato Sauce #2"), from The Art of Italian Cooking, by Maria Lo Pinto and Milo Miloradovich (New York: Doubleday & Company, 1948, page 56).
Image Credit: "σάλτσα, tomato sauce" by topsyntages.gr" (Creative Commons)