This is my Granddog, Max. Recently, our son’s dog passed away. He was 13 years old. He brought, love, protection and a completion to the family as dogs do. Because Max meant so much to us, and ordinances prevented burial in their yard, we asked our son to bury him next to our dog, Prisky, who grew up with our kids and passed several years ago.
While preparing the grave, I prepared a basket of food for them to take home to indulge at their leisure. Comfort food is always the food of choice when somberness surrounds you. Pasta and tomato sauce are just the comfort one embraces.
The basket was filled with tomato sauce I had prepared last harvest season. I added a package of pasta, a loaf of Rosemary Bread, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for grating. For a garnish of flavor, I included cuttings of basil and flat leaf parsley that I placed in water tubes I keep handy for cut flowers. I happen to have Styrofoam squares I positioned in the bottom of the basket to hold the water tubes in place. Finally, a bottle of Wine was added because one always wants a glass of wine with tomato sauce and pasta.
When ready, all that has to be done is pour a glass of wine, prepare the pasta, heat the sauce, grate cheese, chiffonade the basil for garnish, chop the parsley to blend with olive oil for dipping bread. Ten minutes later, let the comfort and healing begin. It is an effortless, but therapeutic task to complete when your thoughts and heart are elsewhere.
Recipe for Tomato Sauce:
8 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 small can Tomato Purée
1 whole sweet onion, diced
pinch of salt,
pinch of red pepper flakes
fresh oregano, chopped
fresh basil, chiffonade for garnish
Cook onion until tender, add tomatoes and purée. Salt. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add oregano, more salt to taste and pepper flakes.
Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Note: At this time you can add 1/4 cup of red wine and bacon bits/pancetta for added flavor.
The prepared jar of sauce shown above does not contain these items. I prefer to add
these ingredients towards the end of cooking for a fresher taste.
Follow procedures for canning instructions should you use this sauce for storage.
If you do not prepare jars for winter, then use…a large can of Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes in place of plum tomatoes. You won’t regret Muir Glen.