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My husband took my youngest son to the surgery center, for the appointment we had finally scheduled to have his tonsils removed. We had the first consultation before school was out for the summer, but we never seemed to be able to find the right time – until now. That morning at home, I sorted, washed, dried and folded my way through several loads of laundry, wiped down countertops, cleaned floors, tubs and toilets, and made a quick dinner, so I wouldn’t have to be in the kitchen later when my son was home and needing my attention and care.


classic marinara sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes with their juices, crushed by hand

pinch of sugar

2 basil sprigs

salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the canned tomatoes with their juices. Stir in the sugar and basil, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and is reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper. Discard the basil sprigs and garlic.


Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, September 2007