I’m glad you stopped by to check out my Cappelletti with Tomato & Butter Sauce – I promise it’s sooo goood! A little while ago, I wrote about us going on a diet, avoiding any sugary foods and generally riding a giant wave of deprivation (I flourished it with more positivity back then). I think all food, and I mean real food, not processed junk, exists to be enjoyed – either in abundance, or moderation. I could never give up cheeses, fresh crusty bread, and cutting out the wine would be kind of a problem, too. That being said, the other day I found myself innocently plunking a largish chunk of butter into my tomato sauce, which had me momentarily pause in a second-guessing reflection.
Then I ate everything anyway.
Let’s start with the sauce. It’s originally from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. The recipe’s been mentioned in a couple of blogs, namely Smitten Kitchen. The simplicity of the whole thing had me figured “let’s go butter, or bust, then”, so I whipped out the ingredients and got cooking.
You know the smell of butter when you gently fry it up in a pan? Imagine that permeating the entire tomato sauce. When you smell this, something primal switches on, the tastebuds start tingling, knees weaken, and the mouth waters. I devoured a few spoonfools right from the pot. The picture is not enhanced, by the way, that was the color.
I also occurred to me that there could be more tasty variations to the sauce – say, with a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped fresh sage? Definitely next time.
Next up, I craved cheese, so I made a casserole – I boiled the pasta to just before al-dente, filled the dish and poured in the entire sauce. Cappelletti is, by the way, a small snail-shaped pasta – perfect for holding on to bits of sauce. I garnished with basil and buffalo mozzarella.
Because sometimes happiness is just a simple plate of butter, tomatoes and carbs. Or a bright summer window with Limoncello next a pot of basil.
- 1 24oz jar strained tomatoes + ⅓ cup of water
- 5 tbs butter
- 1 sweet onion, halved
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ of a 500g Cappelletti pasta, but use whatever pasta you fancy
- ¾ cup fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced
- basil, to garnish
- Pour the strained tomatoes into a medium pot. Pour ⅓ cup of water into the tomato jar, put the seal back on and slosh around to get the rest of the tomato sauce from inside. Pour into the pot and mix well to combine. Add the butter and the halved onion. Bring to a brief boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F and boil the pasta to just before al-dente (it will continue to cook in the oven). Strain the pasta and transfer into a buttered casserole dish. Pour in the sauce, top with basil leaves and mozzarella.
- Bake until the top begins to brown, about 15-20 mins.
- Serve with more basil.