Just a little background on some things before we get started…. apparently, marinara and tomato sauce aren’t the same thing. They are often confused and used interchangeably but nope. The New York Times recently did a feature story on marinara. It explained the differences, how marinara is actually very simple and shared tips and tricks on how you can re-create the perfect italian sauce.
This difference was unbeknownst to me until just recently. It’s a good thing I didn’t publish this post earlier because I definitely interchanged marinara and tomato sauce throughout the below recap of my roommates delightful Sunday night TOMATO sauce.
It’s always such a treat when someone prepares a homemade meal, except when I’m not involved in the process at all. I start to freak out a little bit, getting antsy and poking around trying to find things I can do to help out. Unfortunately this kind of behavior doesn’t fly in our kitchen because it’s so small. So last weekend when my roommate cooked homemade tomato sauce and pasta I had to completely avoid being in the kitchen and find ways to distract myself. I was being asked questions from time to time. Although I’m pretty sure they were out of pity though because she could see how weirded out I was. Looking back I’m starting to question why I didn’t have a glass of wine already poured and why a dance party wasn’t occurring in the living room. What was I doing?
It’s not that I don’t trust the other persons ability to cook (ok this HAS happened before) it just feels so weird that I’m not the one doing things, which may relate o a need to be in control issue. So back to my awesome roommate and the mambo italiano that was Sunday night. The smell of garlic and onion was in the air while Frank Sinatra played in the background. The tomato sauce recipe was simple, and oh so delicious. Coming from Mario Batali, one of the food networks italian “experts”, how could it not be good?
We used homemade pasta from Whole Foods, which truth be told, I’ve never had before. Not pasta from whole foods but HOMEMADE pasta. Whaaat? Yea, I’m never buying your average joe pasta ever again. This pasta was creamy, melt in your mouth, buttery goodness good.
After dinner, the tomato sauce was in abundance and so the next week was spent scouring the internet for good, somewhat unique ideas. Hence, red lentils with tomato sauce. One morning I finished off the marinara sauce by making a dish known as eggs in purgatory. Basically, an egg poached in tomato sauce. Super quick and very tasty.
Eggs in Purgatory for One
2 cups tomato sauce
1 clove minced garlic
1 slice of bread
Sautee the garlic in a frying pan on medium heat (I used a small one since I was only cooking for me). Add tomato sauce and let the sauce start to bubble. Add the egg and partially cover the pan. Let cook for 5 minutes or until the whites are set and the yolk is still runny. Five minutes is probably the perfect amount of time without you having to judge if everything is set and runny. Add parmesan cheese, or any kind of cheese. Cheese! Smother the bread in the eggy-tomato sauce or eat the bread alone, dry and alone. Whatever your preference.
If only every dish was this easy…
So there you go. Tomato sauce-a-plenty. Remember next time you want “marinara,” it’s most likely some Americanized version of the simple Italian sauce and it should really be referred to as tomato sauce, or one of the other 18 names that classify a red sauce with lots of tasty shit in it.