If a woman really doesn’t want to know how she looks in a dress, why does she ask? I don’t know either but what I do know is that you shouldn’t say “Like a sausage in a twist-tie.”
Trust me on this one.
Which brings me to today’s topic: The Post Breakup Meal. During the last few months, I seem to have consumed these quite frequently. I’m not talking about breaking up DURING a meal. I’ve been there before and believe me, most red wines leave a permanent stain. No, I’m talking about the meal AFTER the breakup. Some splits are so heart-wrenching that you just can’t eat, while others make you come home and do a fist pumping victory lap in your living room. I’m referring to the day or so after, when you need to be alone and all you want to do is curl up with a good exploitation-beat-down-action-adventure movie, and a bowlful of soul-healing proteins and carbs (along with your favorite bottle of rotgut).
Yeah, guys are different, but we still need sustenance during the healing process, and I’ve got something for my newly solo brothers out there. My go-to meal has to have pasta and a rich, soothing tomato sauce. And usually some meat—which almost always includes pork—but for some reason, this time I didn’t feel like sausage. So, let’s go meatless on this one. I’ll keep it simple, yet fulfilling. Almost as easy as calling an escort service. And a lot cheaper.
Katt’s Soul Healing Tomato Sauce
¼ cup of olive oil
3 28 oz cans of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes (Find ‘em…they’re worth it.)
3 peeled carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 large red onion
4 cloves of garlic and 2 sprigs of thyme
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
Fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves
Your favorite pasta
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (Man up and grate it yourself!)
This is my stock tomato sauce recipe, minus the cream. You will need either a hand blender (kinda looks like a boat motor), or you can mix it in batches using a countertop blender. Or you can leave it chunky, but blending it imparts air into the sauce, which makes it creamy and smooth.
First, chop up the onion, carrots and celery. Dump them all into the same bowl because you’ll sauté them together. Then mince the gloves of garlic, but keep them separate. Pour your olive oil into a large soup pot and kick up the heat. Sauté the vegetables until the onions are soft and then throw in the garlic. When you smell the garlic coming from the pot, pour in the chicken stock. Garlic will quickly burn if you’re not careful so I don’t cook it too long over a high flame. Let that come to a simmer and cook down for about 5 minutes. Then, add your tomatoes and their juices one can at a time. Use a potato masher to break up the wholes tomatoes before adding the next can. Strip the thyme sprigs of their leaves over the pot and sprinkle them in. Add the red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper to taste and bring it up to a simmer. Here’s where I blend it well. If you don’t have a hand blender, use your countertop blender BEFORE you bring it up to a simmer. Let it cook uncovered for at least an hour. Two or three is better.
Now prepare some salted water to cook your pasta in. While your pasta is cooking, turn the heat off on your sauce and add some heavy cream. The worse the breakup the more cream you’ll need. Mix it well and then throw in a couple of tablespoons of butter for good measure. Next, coarsely chop up the basil and add it to the sauce. I like it at the end so that it doesn’t cook down and lose its flavor. Once the pasta is done, remove it from the heat and take some straight from the pot to the plate. Don’t rinse the first couple of batches. The pasta water will help the sauce coat the pasta. Ladle on some sauce, spoon on the cheese, and butter up a couple hunks’a bread. Pour yourself a tall one and pop in the DVD. It’s been a rough couple of days but things are looking up. Let the healing begin!