chicksinapronsTomato sauce variations are many, as it’s one of the most essential concoctions in piecing together disparate ingredients that result in a cohesive masterpiece. While I have many versions of a simple marinara sauce, I made this one over the weekend. We ate it over fresh taggliattini (with lots of parmesan cheese), but I’ve also used it in a vegetarian lasagna, to dip fried eggplants (Trader Joe’s has an awesome one), for adding to battered mozzarella and to flavor a chicken cacciatore. While the base is comprised of onions, sautéed on low for an hour, once you add the tomatoes, their acidity undercuts the sweet richness of the caramelized onions. It results in an affirmative, yet super simple (2 main ingredients, 1 herb) sauce that begs for an encore. X, Carolina

ps. I sliced the onions on a handheld mandolin



extra virgin olive oil

1.5 onions, very thinly sliced

1 T sugar

1 can whole, Italian tomatoes (San Marzanos, if you can)

1- 2 teaspoons salt, to taste

coarse black pepper to taste

1/2 cup white wine

fresh basil, handful or more, thinly sliced


Over medium-high heat, sauté onions in olive oil in a deep, sauté pan. Cover, add sugar, and lower heat as low as it will go. Stir occasionally, slowly adding about 2/3 of the wine. After about an hour, uncover, add about a tablespoon or so of olive oil and raise the heat. Stir in wine, salt, and pepper to taste. Continue to stir until all the liquid is evaporated (couple of minutes), then lower heat again and add tomatoes. With a handheld potato masher (or big spoon), chop up the tomatoes. Cook for about 8 minutes. Adjust seasoning to your particular taste and stir in the fresh basil. The heat of the sauce will cook the basil just enough so that it retains it’s aroma.

Serve over pasta with lots of parm or Romano cheese. Or serve over chicken, beans, veggies–just about anything. X, Carolina