Rosa’s Friendship Sauce
• ½ cup best olive oil
• 1 cup of finely chopped onions
• 1 teaspoon chopped garlic (even more, if you prefer)
• salt, to taste
• fat pinch red pepper flakes (or a few fresh or dry chiles)
• handful of chopped basil, or to taste
• 2 pints cherry tomatoes, fresh or canned, (halved if skin is tough)
• crusty bread to serve
Warm up a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat.
Add the olive oil and when it shimmers, add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent.
Add the garlic, salt, red pepper, and basil, and continue cooking briefly. Be careful not to burn.
Add the cherry tomatoes and stir to coat with seasonings. Cover, and turn the heat to low. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the tomato skin looks wrinkled, gently pop each cherry tomato with the back of a wooden spoon.
Continue to cook, uncovered and stirring from time to time until the olive oil, now darkened from cooking with tomatoes, comes to the surface. This is how you know that the friendship sauce is done. (If it should get too thick for your taste, stir in a little water.) Add more basil if desired.
Call your family to the dinner table and place the hot pan in the center. Invite everyone to tear bread from your crusty loaf and dip into the pot of friendship sauce.
Serves 4-6, generously.
Rosa Galeno grew up in southern Italy, where summers linger and the winters are windy, cold, and rainy.