This is my fastest, simplest marinara– and so much better than store-bought. It is a real treasure, because it is luscious and slow-simmered, but can still be on the table in half an hour. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but the truth is that “slow” doesn’t have to mean “all day.” Generally, flavors can meld with a good 20-25 minute simmer after bringing the sauce to a full boil. I had the chance to test this theory several months ago when I suddenly got a call that friends were coming to dinner– and would be at the Small Table in 45 minutes. Yikes!!
The beauty, or rather, the luxury of a great small recipe is that you can use judicious amounts of luscious ingredients–precisely because it is small. Eat it; savor it; it’s gone. Then it’s back to eating mostly healthy food. You may have heard this referred to as the 80/20 rule: 80% healthy food, 20% indulgence. It has totally worked for me long-term, which is why I love some good heavy cream and egg yolks when a great recipe is begging for them!
Pasta and sauce has long been the choice in-a-rush meal here at the Small Table. There are three long-simmer sauces that I like to make when I have time (recipes to come), but in a pinch a good jar-sauce can be a wonderful thing. Upgrade your standard pasta-and-sauce dinner with some sausage, parmesan, mozzarella, and tortellini. This makes enough to have a little for lunch the next day, which can be just what you need when you’re short on time.