Simple Sunday Dinner

>Simple Sunday Dinner
After a week (& weekend) filled with work and social obligations of various forms, Sunday Supper can sort of … slip away from me.
Over the past few months, this simple pasta and salad combo has become my go-to because
  • it is fresh and delicious,
  • inexpensive,
  • and comes together easily.
My Sunday Supper spell begins with Marcella Hazan’s Tomato-Butter sauce. It is the absolute simplest, most fool-proof sauce ever created. Just whole plum tomatoes, quartered onion, and a healthy helping of butter. Oh, and it is mind-alteringly delicious.
Served over a nice ridge-y pasta, and we are good to go.
As a companion piece, I also throw on the Gent’s Salad. So named because I tossed it together for the first time a few weeks ago, and the Gent has been requesting it almost daily ever since.
It’s just mixed greens, orange segments, almonds, &dried cranberries, dressed with a little vinaigrette made from the juice of the orange and a little olive oil. I am obsessed with Cara Cara Oranges right now– their color is so vibrant, and their flavor is more sweet than acidic.
So, I put the sauce on to simmer for 45 minutes, get the water boiling for the pasta, and toss together the Gent’s Salad while I wait.
In the spirit of Lazy Sunday, I try not to head to the grocery store for anything. Which is how I developed the Cheat on Hazan’s sauce.
When I happen to have used up all my onions, I substitute a shot of vodka and a teaspoon of onion powder. Because I always have vodka in the house for some crazy reason…
Like the juice from an onion, the vodka breaks down the tomatoes and gives them a creamy quality without imparting too much flavor. White wines and vinegars would lend too much of their own character to this simple sauce– they need more back up spices to fold the flavors together. And then it stops being this sauce, and becomes something less lazily fabulous.

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato-Butter Sauce
(with Mary King cheats noted)
1 28 oz can of peeled whole plum tomatoes with juice
1 onion, peeled and quartered
4 Tbs unsalted butter, cubed
salt to taste

*in the absence of an onion, substitute 1 1/2 ounces of vodka, and 1 teaspoon onion powder
Pour tomatoes into saucepan with juice. Break the tomatoes with your hands or with a wooden spoon. Add onion (or vodka & onion powder), and butter.
Set over medium high heat until it reaches a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, cover the pan, turn heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occassionally and breaking up tomatoes with the side of the spoon.
The sauce is done when the tomatoes have broken down and there are drops of the melted butter floating on top. Remove the onion and discard. Salt to taste. Serve.
The Gent’s Salad
2 hands full Mixed Greens
1 orange, segmented
handful of toasted almonds
handful of dried cranberries
for the dressing:
any remaining juice from peeling the orange
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp oregano (fresh or dried)
3 Tbs olive oil
pinch of salt
Toss the shallot in a bowl with the orange juice, vinegar, & oregano. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly, until emulsified.
Mound two plates with greens. Sprinkle the almonds and cranberries on top, lay orange segments on top. Drizzle with dressing.