Get ready for some red sauce.

DSC05123It has dawned on me, through the years, that other people don’t think about tomato sauce the same way that I do. “How do you make tomato sauce?” someone might ask, and after I rattle off my method, they might say, “Okay great, so can I just add meatballs if I want to make a meat sauce this weekend?”

The short answer: No you may not. I mean, technically you can, but I won’t guarantee it if you do.

Maybe this is a newsflash to the rest of the world: There are scores of ways to make tomato sauce. Hundreds, easily. Probably thousands. No self-respecting Italian-American subsists on just one recipe. Like having a great wardrobe, our tomato sauce repertoire means that we will never be unprepared, no matter what’s in the pantry. We will always be covered for basics.

So starting Friday, September 4th, I am launching Red Sauce Fridays. Every Friday, I will post another red sauce recipe. I am sure many will be familiar to you. Rest assured I will shamelessly re-publish recipes that have been on this blog, or that I have written about before. But I vow to go until I hit 100, so I will eventually be forced to explore even those beyond my personal recipe box. That’s right, 100 nights of red sauce. And I can even pretend this is sort of a democracy, so please, if you have any good personal red sauce recipes, feel free to send in a nomination, to be highlighted on the blog.

If you want to cook along with me, there is only one piece of equipment I recommend, which should be cheap, and is easy to use: a food mill. Please don’t spend more than $30 on one of these—the “technology” (and I use that word loosely) is the same in an $80 model as it is in a $22 one. But the use of one of these babies will already elevate your sauce way beyond what you are used to. If you don’t want to commit, you can wing it with a potato masher and some kitchen scissors, to cut up any stubborn tomatoes that won’t mash. But trust me, if you want that saucy texture you love at your favorite Italian joint, you will need a food mill. (You can mash potatoes with it, too, if that helps justify the measly $22 price tag.) Okay, see you next Friday!

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