When Dudette was a baby I watched television while entertaining her in the living room. She didn’t care; didn’t ask for Sesame Street or that show, the one with the ugly purple dinosaur. She cooed and giggled as my fingers tickled her tummy and marched stuffed animals across the quilt she lay on.
I watched cooking shows a lot and as she started to toddle, she’d bounce in time to the music on Molto Mario. I’m not sure why she chose that theme song as her favorite, but at least she had good taste in chefs.
I also watched House. Since she never even focused on the television, it was no big deal. As time went by, my little one’s fascination with the medical parts of the show grew along with her. She was a surgeon for Halloween two years in a row. One of her favorite toys was a crash cart, complete with defib paddles, blood pressure cuff and stethoscope. She watched the show with me up until the day that she could understand what the actors were saying.
As a result of her love for medicine and my years in nursing school, Dudette never used the word ‘owie.’ In fact, from the time she could form a word, any cut, scrape or bruise was an injury. She knew the difference between a laceration and a contusion. Just to mess with people, we taught her to call any cut that was bleeding (no matter how small) a gaping wound.
Even now, Dudette will correct anyone who dares ask if she has an owie or, heaven forbid, a booboo. Her voice, as she explains that the scrape on her knee is actually called an injury, not a booboo, is full of disdain and there is a clear, pointed, looking-down-her-nose affect to boot.
I thought of this as my daughter and nephew talked together about different words as he, a twelve year-old, tried to trip her up on common childhood words.
“What do you call spaghetti?” he asked. “Pasta,” came the lofty answer. What can I say; she’s the daughter of a cook (and she did watch Molto Mario as a baby).
The ingredients in this are simple and the process is even more so. What I like best about the recipe are three words.
. . . about one hour.
That’s how long the sauce simmers after each layer is built up. There’s a full hour of letting the onion, carrot, garlic, herbs, wine and tomatoes get to know each other really well.
I love this recipe. I’m fond of red wine in tomato sauce already, but added alongside the other ingredients, like the fresh sage and rosemary, it’s fantastic. It shines. In fact, Dudette took a bite and commented that the only thing she could taste was sauce. Bingo. Success.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I think Hubby would have liked a little heat. I’d add a half teaspoon of red pepper flakes next time.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium carrots, minced
- 1 large yellow onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 sprigs sage
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 (28-oz.) can whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb. dried rigatoni
- ¼ cup thinly sliced parsley leaves
- ⅓ cup coarsely grated pecorino romano or mozzarella
- Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots and onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 9 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary, and sage, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine, and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring, until reduced, about 1 hour. Discard herbs and purée sauce in a blender. Season sauce with salt and pepper; keep warm.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, and add rigatoni; cook, stirring, until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Toss pasta and sauce in a bowl, adding tablespoons of pasta water to create a smooth sauce. Divide pasta and sauce among bowls, and garnish with parsley and cheese.
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