Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Never buy another jar of tomato sauce.

I used to. No more. Napoli sauce is easier and faster than going to the supermarket for a jar of Barilla or whatever it was I used to buy.

Dice an onion and cook it in a decent glug of olive oil and a splash of white wine. Drop in a chopped clove of garlic when onion is almost soft. Cook until just soft; do not brown, much less burn. Now add a tin or two of diced tomatoes, a dash of dried basil or a few leaves of fresh and salt and pepper. Don't be timid: pepper makes this. I put in half a teaspoonful per tin of tomatoes. I also add half a tablespoonful of butter for richness and a small dash of cumin powder. Half a teaspoon of sugar balances the acid.

Simmer, adding a little water to maintain sauce-like consistency. I always add a little milk to round out the creaminess towards the end.

Perfect on La Triestina giant spinach and ricotta ravioli. (Cooked well, they expand to the size of a playing card.)

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