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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Obsessions With Eggplant

I. I Take It Upon Myself To Make My Own Tomato Sauce; Or, The Dark Side Of The Sauce.

To make a fine homemade eggplant parmesan and truly call it your own, you must make your own homemade tomato sauce.  To use a bottled sauce and claim such an honor is not only wrong, it's sick. I will not deny that one can make a perfectly tasty eggplant parmesan using a store bought sauce; however, I will deny that you can do such a thing, claim the parmesan as homemade, and retain your dignity.

Sunday, December 18, 2011, I ventured to make such a homemade tomato sauce.  I decided to consult my old friend Mario Batali.  Mister Batali operates a number of Italian restaurants, and I've had the pleasure of eating his pasta in a few of these establishments.  I also enjoy his bottled sauce.  I therefore felt like he was a good man from whom to learn the Ways of the Sauce.

Mister Batali had a simple recipe requiring some olive oil, onions, garlic, carrot, thyme, and canned, whole tomatoes.   The recipe said to simply put the tomatoes and juices into the pot and simmer.  I took it upon myself to break up the tomatoes a bit, and one of the little bastards squirted juice all over my shirt.  I then placed this son-of-a-bitch into the bubbly cauldron, thinking revenge is sweet as I watched him burn in a saucy hell.

About an hour later the sauce was ready.  Either I'm incompetent or Mister Batali is not the Master of Sauce I assumed, for the sauce came out a chunky, watery disappointment.  As I am clearly not incompetent, Mister Batali is simply not what he seems.  You cannot judge a book by its cover, nor a chef by his orange clogs. 

The quest to make an excellent homemade eggplant parmesan by first making an excellent homemade sauce has reached a roadblock.  Tune in next time, when our hero -- myself -- tries a different recipe for sauce.  And may god have mercy on that juicy tomatoes' soul.