February 19, 2011

Tomato and Cream Sauce and a Tribute to Marcella Hazan

Pâtes Fraiches

"There is no such thing as Italian haute cuisine because there are no high or low roads in Italian cooking. All roads lead to the home, to la cucina di casa - the only one that deserves to be called Italian cooking."  - Marcella Hazan

Big squares of fresh spinach and ricotta ravioli found their way into my shopping basket the other day so when I got home I immediately cracked open Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking to look for the perfect sauce recipe.
Over 650 pages of information, recipes and advice are packed into this wonderful book. It is by far the most trusted Italian cookbook in my entire collection.

The Fundamentals and At Table chapters alone make it an invaluable resource. Need a definition for insaporire? Don't know what Bottarga is? Curious about the different varieties of Radicchio or Ricotta?
Marcella has all the answers.
My copy is about 15 years old. The spine is broken and its pages are splashed and splattered with tomato sauce and red wine. Definitly the signs of a well loved cookbook!

Also, her recipe for Bucatini all'Amatriciana is unparalleled - the most sublime mélange of pancetta, onions, tomatoes and two types of Italian cheese. I make a batch almost every week.

I love Marcella. She has a down to earth style and an unwavering devotion to regional, traditional Italian cuisine. She is truly a classic!



Now on to the sauce...
The is not a dish to eat when you're on a diet. It is rich and silky and a simple indulgence to be served with a small portion of stuffed pasta.
Adapted from Marcella's Tomato Sauce with Heavy Cream recipe.  
Buon appetito!

Tomato and Cream Sauce
makes 4-6 servings
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 14 ounce can whole plum tomatoes, crushed finely and with their juice
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • a pinch of salt
  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Put all the ingredients except for the heavy cream into a saucepan and cook, uncovered, at a very light simmer for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Turn the heat up a bit, stir the heavy cream into the tomato mixture and cook for 1 minute.
Mix with the pasta and serve with the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
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15 comments:

Veronica said...

ooh, I LOVE that sauce! Haven't made it in years.

Eat your heart out, Jamie, Marcella is truly where it's at for Italian food (although Anne del Conte and Ursula Ferrigno are worthy runners up).

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

OK so this will have to wait, I am still struggling to get off the extra weight that went on in the first 3 months after returning to ther UK and cooking for two instead of 1 :(( Diane

Betty C. said...

This almost makes me want to buy a cookbook again...I haven't bought one in about two years! So I guess you're saying it's better than the Silver Spoon.

Sharon T said...

Looks divine! I have always wanted one of her cookbooks. Oh, and nice Converse by the way :)

Sam Mooney said...

Yum. I haven't made this for years. It's time!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more; Marcella's the best!

chcmichel said...

I love Marcella's recipe so much and make it quite often; perfect over stuffed pastas.

Chez Loulou said...

Veronica
It is so delicious. And so decadent!
Never heard of Anna del Conte - must check her out. Grazie!

Diane
When you finally try it I'm sure you will enjoy every bite. :)

Betty
I don't own the Silver Spoon but have looked at it from time to time and have to say that I prefer Marcella's recipes.
There are a few available here: http://www.culinate.com/books/collections/all_books/Essentials+of+Classic+Italian+Cooking

Sharon
If you like Italian food and like to cook, then this is a book you should own! No pretty photos, but a wealth of information and fabulous recipes.

Sam
Yes, it's time!

chcmichel
Her recipes never fail to disappoint!

Lunes said...

Have just discovered your blog via twitter! I am in Luc sur Orbieu, we have several common links etc.
Where abouts are you?
Kylee

Cowgirl Chef said...

I love this book and this sauce, too. So simple, and so lovely. I think my book's at least 15 years old, too.

CWolfe said...

Even in Texas, I use Marchella Hazan's book and have been doing so for years. ( I bought it in an English language book shop in Geneva.) Her recipes always provide a very impressive dinner for folks more accustom to fried chicken, mashed potatoes and cream gravy.

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

Oh I love that book and that sauce! Friends brought it to Florence one summer and used it to cook all the food they bought in the markets, so I have very specific, very fond memories.

Chez Loulou said...

Lunes
I think I met you a few years ago around Christmas. I live near Olonzac. Nice to see you again!

Cowgirl Chef
Even though I've had it forever I still use it all the time. I grew up eating southern Italian food and this book was my first introduction to the food from other regions in Italy.

CWolfe
I'm really enjoying hearing from all you Marcella fans out there! :)

Figs, Bay, Wine
Those would be good memories!

croquecamille said...

Stuffed pasta with tomato cream sauce is one of my very favorite meals. Hungry.

Chez Loulou said...

Camille
Ours too. In fact, we had it again yesterday. Different sauce though.