The middle of my day was a lunchtime meeting at work. We rotate the catering, and it is rarely inspired. Yesterday was tomato and lentil soup with a heavy hand in pepper, and a so called pumpkin soup which tasted like a thick tomato soup. We all complain about the food. It gives us a sense of team solidarity, which I think you need to get through the tough times. (Side note - on good days we get the lunchboxes from our local which happens to be one of the best restaurants in Australia - Vue de Monde - fantastic and really good value).
I know it's wrong and in breach of anti-dumping laws but one of the only things I like about supermarkets in Australia is the profusion of very cheap tinned Italian tomatoes. They bring a taste of summer to the darkest day, and I am very sorry to the local producers - your fresh tomatoes are bliss but your tinned are not a patch on those produced by Italia.
I have been engaged on a search for the best tomato sauce for pasta for many years. This is because:
3. I feel that many tinned tomatoes (and indeed, regular real round tomatoes) do not often have the best flavour. The challenge therefore is to maximise the tomatoeyness and minimise the tinny or watery flavour you can get.
About 3 years ago I struck gold. I have to thank Marcella Hazan for this. I have previously mentioned how her books are falling apart at the seams through use. Her Classic Italian Cookbook actually has 4 different tomato sauce recipes. The one below is the one I love. It produces a rich deep dense flavour and I highly recommend it.
One tin of Italian tomatoes (450g)
One onion peeled and sliced in half crossways.
About 50-75 g of good quality unsalted butter depending on how naughty you feel.
a pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
Serve with boxed dry pasta (cooked!) - I usually use spaghettini. How easy is that? Make it now!