Comfort Food: Pasta 101


Who is need of comfort food right now??? I am. That’s who! I’m in a fight with myself. I’m trying to drop lbs., and working my butt off (hopefully, literally) doing pilates and walking. However, the winter weather and current state of political affairs has me intermittently crying and craving carbs. I’m losing it, I know.

After sobbing through the Ellen Degeneres Show yesterday ( I have a flare for the melodramatic), and her retrospective of the Obamas, I really lost the plot. It was particularly jarring as my son kept clicking between the inaugural ‘concert,’ and images of Obama over the last 8 years just being the coolest guy in the world. It was too much to take, I tell ya!

What to do? What to do? Make Marcella Hazan’s iconic tomato sauce, that’s what! If you have not heard of this, MAKE IT IMMEDIATELY. This sauce is one of those staples that I turn to over and over again. It would also make a perfect 1st recipe to teach your child. It only has 3 ingredients, of which I can almost guarantee you will have on hand at most times: Canned tomatoes, an onion, and butter. You read that right, that’s it!


After discovering this sauce, I made it exactly as written. But then, as usual, I thought I knew better and tried to mess with it by adding garlic, basil, red pepper and the like. Not only did it NOT improve the sauce, it detracted from it. By just following the simple recipe you are left with a silky, tomato-y (?) sauce that is rivaled by no other. I no longer buy pasta sauce as this is better, not to mention cheaper, that anything else on the market. I can not oversell this recipe enough!

The only thing I did to the recipe after I made it was give it a quick whirl in the blender with some of the pasta water from the noodles. Most times I skip this step, but for some reason I wanted a smoother sauce than this usually creates. Usually, I leave it chunkier, just breaking up the tomatoes with the back of my wooden spoon as it cooks. After that, it was a quick sprinkling of parmesan and Italian parsley, served with a bright winter green salad and that was dinner. This simple dish provided just the level of comfort I was looking for. With so much uncertainty facing our country over the next 4 years, it was lovely to fall back on this tried and true stand-by. Comfort food, indeed.

I’m looking to fortify myself, for tomorrow we march in the Women’s March, Los Angeles. If you’d like to join, just click the link and you can register. See you in DTLA!


About ktheidtke

A single mother of 4, narrating the everyday.
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