Diane’s Pomodoro Sauce

I may actually get ejected from the family by posting this pomodoro recipe. Craig’s Aunt Diane is a cooking goddess. She cooks the most amazing foods, and has a half-Sicilian heritage to back it up. She also owned and ran the Sugarfoot restaurant in Jackson, WY before selling it to move on. She manages to make a trip up to Seattle each autumn, and each time, brings me a new culinary gadget that I never knew I wanted but now can’t get along without, or something that I’ve been desperately needing (thinking about wistfully but never bothering to buy). Such is the way that I acquired my chinois (shin-wah), marble rolling pin, and Cake Bible. She is constantly passing on great advice and giving me wonderful compliments on my cooking. Martha Stewart stopped at Diane’s restaurant to buy some bread to feature in an episode of Living.

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The recipe is super simple, and that’s what makes it so special. You get 2 cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes, empty them out into a mesh strainer and go through them, separating the flesh from seeds. You want all of the flesh and liquid in the bowl below and the seeds in the strainer. This is very time consuming. An effective alternative is crushed tomatoes (so long as there aren’t seeds in them) and it’s way cheaper, but not Diane’s original recipe. You want the big fat cans, not normal sized ones.

Peel and roughly chop/slice 2 Walla Walla or yellow onions, and unwrap 2 sticks of butter. Yes, half a pound. Put them all into a heavy bottomed pot and put it on medium-low heat to simmer for a LONG time. It depends on your stove, the boil, and what position the moon is in how long it takes. Between 30 minutes and 2 hours is a good estimate. You’re done once the butter is separated, the only way to describe it is… well, you’ll just know.

Once you’re “at that point,” transfer the mixture to a blender and avoid burning yourself. Blend it thoroughly in batches. Combine it in a bowl and you’re good to go. Your mixture should be a rich reddish orange and pretty smooth. This is traditionally served with thin spaghetti (not angel hair or normal thickness) with little salt, pepper, and cheese if any.

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