If you travel a lot for work, you know the value of the occasional “Home-Cooked Meal on the Road”.  I was the lucky beneficiary of the meal above, courtesy of Aoi Scott- a mad genius in the kitchen and a true artist behind the camera lens.  This is a tomato sauce to make your Italian grandmother shed a tear of pride and envy.

I am pretty sure Aoi’s sauce is a simple recipe.  I have never seen her make it- but judging from the remnants I spied around the kitchen that night, the ingredients are probably something like this: 1 Can San Marzano Tomatoes, 1/2 Onion, Garlic, Salt/ Pepper.

Sweat the onions in olive oil, add the garlic, then the can of tomatoes- season to taste.  Sounds simple, right?  That’s the frustrating part.  I have been making a similar red sauce for years- and mine never quite reaches this level of heavenly, tomatoey perfection.  I know there must be another step- does she blend the whole thing with an immersion blender?  How does she get that velvety texture?  Am I missing an ingredient? Why is the tomato flavor so amplified?  Why is this sauce so good?!

Frustratingly Delicious.

For now I am content to understand that I simply cannot understand why this sauce is so good.  Someday however, I will beg Aoi to let me watch, and take notes, while she executes this secret sauce.  If the chef allows, I will post the recipe- the world needs more tomato perfection.  In fact, I’m pretty sure with enough San Marzano Tomatoes, we could heal the world.

Delicious.  And Beautiful too.

Kid-tested.  Italian Wine Geek- approved.  This is serious pasta perfection.

Proven Fact: Aoi Scott’s pasta is the best fuel for Marathon Barbie-Playing Sessions.

About The Author

I love all things Italian: the beautiful country of Italia, the Italians themselves, the language, the food… and above all, I love Italian wine. The people I meet in my charmed life are fascinating, the wines are extraordinary. I needed a special place like this to write about them, and to remember them.

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9 Responses

  1. Heather

    I know the missing ingredient…should I share it? Why not…it definitely adds the velvety-ness to the sauce (and some calories too!)…Butter! I’m not sure on how much…but I’d guess about a stick. I’ve never achieved the Aoi perfect sauce myself…but I’m determined to get close:)

  2. Heather

    PS. Addie says “I love you Joanie”…as she awaits your next Barbie play date marathon!

    • Joanie Karapetian, Italian Wine Geek

      @Bliss I am on a mission to document the creation of this sauce. Aoi has crazy skills. Will report back.
      @Dad/ Dr. Bonfiglio I will NOT show Papa John this post. You’re right- that would not be good! His sauce is also amazing, but different as there’s always lots of pork and beef involved.

  3. John Bonfiglio

    Dont let your grandfather see this blog. he has always claimed bragging rights for the best sauce. 🙂


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