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board games : warm afternoon picnics at the park : hikes just long enough for the newly walking among us : fireworks that never cease to entertain no matter how many times you’ve watched them : a walk through Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard during a recent visit to Berkeley and was envious of the children who get to partake in the mind-blowing variety of fruits and vegetables there : late walks on the beach just as the sun disappears : a simple (very simple) sauce made from the cherry tomatoes that seem to be overflowing from our backyard : realizing that I will have to can this sauce since there will continue to be more, many, many more tomatoes on the way :

Fresh Tomato Sauce with Sauteed Vegetables and Olive Oil

{from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking}

2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, blanched to remove the skins

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup chopped carrot

1/3 cup chopped celery


1 to 1-1/2 pounds pasta

Put the prepared tomatoes in an uncovered saucepan and cook at a very low simmer for about an hour. Stir from time to time, mashing any pieces of tomato against the sides of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon. Transfer to a bowl with all their juices.

Wipe the saucepan dry with paper towels. Put in the olive oil and the chopped onion and turn on the heat to medium. Cook and stir the onion until it becomes very pale gold, add the carrot and celery, and cook at lively heat for another minute, stirring one or twice to coat the vegetables.

Add back the cooked tomatoes, a large pinch of salt, stir thoroughly, and adjust the heat to cook in the uncovered pan at a gentle, but steady simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir from time to time. Before turning off the heat, taste and correct for salt.