Friday 9 February 2018

January, perspective + Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter.

Blogs are a funny one. You share a part of your life but not all of your life because who wants to read about the crappy stuff. It’s the same with social media, who wants to see a filtered photo of a too cold, sad sandwich (yes sandwiches can be sad) balancing on your knee in a hospital room? The answer is no one. But life does have it’s crappy moments and January, boy oh boy did you have yours. Everything’s different now, for not so great reasons and also, for the best.

We knew it was coming, it just snuck up on us all a little quicker than expected. About two weeks ago we moved my dad into a nursing home to live. He has alzheimer's. He was diagnosed 5 years ago, just before his 63rd birthday. He was too young then and still is. It’s shit. It’s not fair. But it is life I guess. 

I know how lucky I am for everything and everyone I have and I could have kept this to myself and there are things I have kept to myself over the years. It is just part of life now and if I didn’t share it I’d feel weird going on and on about, what sometimes feels like nonsense here, when really some days are just plain shitty. I do also feel weird sharing it but I think it’s good to see both the good and crappy. It’s real. It’s life. And I don't think it's talked about enough.

But in saying that, I scrolled through the photos on my phone last night and it made me realise you’d never have known the year didn’t have the most joyest of beginnings. We just don't take photos of the ok days, it’s the good ones which you find yourself blurting ‘SMILE!’ out at someone and also grinning like an idiot in hopes the other person smiles too. Yes, some days were sadder than others but not every day was bad. January also included a mini-break to Cottesloe in WA for a cousin-in-laws (is that a thing?) wedding where we met up with family who we don’t see nearly enough and I rode a bicycle. Now this may not sound like a big thing for the average joe but I’m so so bad on a bike and it was my idea to hire them. As soon as I said it and everyone agreed I instantly thought, oh crap what have I done!? But I’m getting better and it was so worth the sore bum and all the weird squarks I made trying not to ride into people and parked cars. The views and beaches along the costal bike track are beautiful but pretty sure the cold beer and chicken parama at the end helped too. Oh and there are so many dogs along the way!! I couldn’t appreciate them as much as the others or I’d have fallen off and face planted the path but why doesn’t Sydney have more dog beaches? They should.

And you know what... everyone has to eat. I haven’t cooked much recently, although I did make pizza from scratch in Cottesloe because the amazing Airbnb had a pizza oven that we could not not use but that’s about it, people have mostly fed me which has been great. But when it was just me, all I wanted was a huge bowl of pasta, surprise surprise! I would make this tomato based sauce that has been floating around the internet for years and falls into the category of ‘genius recipes’ because well, it kind of is. I’m also a little late to game because there are about a hundred food blogs that have already shared the recipe but it’s comforting and rich, requires minimal effort and is darn delicious so why not add another version in the world. 

If you’re like me and carbs are your comfort then this recipe has your name on it too. It’s one of the simplest sauces I’ve made and one I keep coming back to. You pretty much empty a can of tomatoes into a pot, add a decent amount of butter, salt, a halved onion (yes really!) and leave it to simmer for a while and it’s done. You want to try it now just to see if it works, am I right? 

The photos are from last year when I made it the first time but never got round to writing about it. To be honest, I never thought it’d become a regular recipe, just one I had a go at because the internet was crazy over it and I wanted to see what the hype was all about. But for some reason, it’s stuck. 

And now onto you, February. So far you have brought weddings (yes another!), besties to Sydney, sun-kissed shoulders and puppies and it’s only the start of the month. Keep up the good work!

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Originally from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
Recipe (ever-so slightly adapted) from Food52 Genius Recipes.

Serves 4, using roughly 500g pasta

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes or whole tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
5 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
Salt to taste
Parmesan cheese, to serve

Put the canned tomatoes in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered on a low but steady simmer for about 45 minutes or until it’s thickened to your liking and the fat floats free from the tomato.

Stir from time to time, smooshing any larger bits of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and correct for salt. 

You can remove the onion (as Hazan recommends) before tossing with your pasta and save for another use, but I left it in. It turn sweet so a little left in goes a long way.

Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.


  1. Life can definitely be crappy sometimes, sending lots of love and positive vibes your way. February sounds like it will be a good one!

    Recipe sounds tasty, will give it a try. I shall be taking the onion out at the end :)

    1. Thanks Katie - fingers crossed it is! haha and yes I can imagine the onion would come out for you... not even a second thought :)

  2. <3 <3 <3 a little comfort food goes a long way! Thank you for sharing this one, it will be made in my kitchen TONIGHT.

  3. Yummo! I think i could even make this with G around! You are amazing and strong. Love love love Xxx

    1. I think you could defs make with with little G! One handed dinner making :)


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