Mike to Cheryl, "So, how did we end up with so many onions?" Cheryl explains, "Well, it's because neither of us has cooked anything in a while." So sad. But that still doesn't explain why there's 10 forlorn, large yellow onions staring at me from our kitchen counters.
Seizing the moment, I remember that Cheryl last week bought 6 large cans of whole peeled stewed tomatoes from Trader Joes. "A new variety, I thought we should try them," she tells me. Ahh, perhaps that was the sign that I missed.
Left to right: New stock at TJs, the San Marzano; old stock at TJs, tomatoes of unknown origin
The hands down winner is the new variety, I hope that TJ's keep getting it. I didn't actually taste them, but the San Marzano feels much more like a piece of food going through the foley food mill, while the old stock is feels more like I'm grinding a soggy baseball. I can see why Wikipedia is telling me that San Marzano is considered by most chefs to be the best saucing tomato on the block. I get the feeling that these tomatoes are imported from Italy. At least the "Pomidori Pelati" wording on the label, and the fact that they are distributed by "Simpson Imports" leads me to believe these aren't a domestic product.
And thusly, our recipe for an impromptu enormous pot of tomato sauce this evening is 8 large cans of tomatoes (I found two of the older variety in the cupboards) run through a food mill, 8 onions diced (2 of them were too far gone), a head of garlic (minced), and some accumulated rinds of parmigiano regiano. Check out our earlier posting on Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce for more details.
Look at the raging red color of this sauce. Yea, it's gonna be good!
A few lessons learned from tonight's brief, but educational cooking session:
- Keep several jars of plum tomatoes on hand-- always--as you never know when you'll feel the need to make a large amount of sauce or the need to use up bags and bags of onions
- Look for the new San Marzano variety at TJs-- they'll vastly improve your saucing quality of life.