The Internet is littered with food blogs and every so often a recipe comes sweeping through the blogosphere to resounding approval. Marcella Hazan’s Famous Tomato Sauce has been doing that over and over for years. Apparently I’ve been living under a rock and not doing my archive diving duty and totally missed it until joy the baker used it over polenta. And I am SO glad she did! Deb at smitten kitchen and the amazing team at the kitchn also have delightful versions. Love it.
Superbly simple and for real, just follow the recipe. I did NOT want to toss my onion, it hurt my soul, so I didn’t. I immersion blended it into a chunky sauce. Don’t. The sauce takes all it needs from just hanging out with the onion. Serious. I also used Earth Balance instead of butter and it went swimmingly. Really. Just swam around in gloriousness.
Polenta is a type of cornmeal mush akin to grits but uses a different type of corn. Yes, corn. Not my most favorite thing in the world given it’s tendency to be GMO and our bodies don’t process corn super well. However, it’s not detrimental if you don’t have a corn allergy/sensitivity and it is just really fabulous here 🙂
My Version of Marcella’s Tomato Sauce
1 28-oz can stewed/peeled whole tomatoes – San Marzano are the best according to the blogosphere I just bought ones that were organic
1 onion, halved
2-4 Tbs butter/Earth Balance
1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Prep: make it while the polenta cooks!
1) dump the whole can of tomatoes into a pot over medium heat
2) add the butter and nearly the onion halves into the tomatoes and liquid
3) bring to a simmer stirring occasionally for 40 minutes
4) thank the onions for their service and give them the boot
Are you dying because its so simple? I know.
Now, take this sauce and put it over savory polenta. Cray. Thanks again joy the baker!
1 cup polenta
4 cups water
2-4 Tbs butter/Earth Balance (optional)
Red chili pepper flakes to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan (optional)
Prep: preheat oven to 350
1) combine polenta and water in an 8×8 baking dish
2) bake for 45 minutes. It’ll look solidish but still a little watery (this is when you make your tomato sauce!)
3) stir in butter and bake for another 15 minutes. It’ll begin to pull away at the sides and be golden on top
4) stir in cheese and chili flakes and let it sit for 15 minutes.
Bring it all together. We plated the polenta in generous slices and smothered them in tomato sauce and covered that with fresh basil. Gangbusters.