Recently I had the very pleasant experience of sailing with Italian clients onboard, something I soon learned after their arrival on-board, was Italians are passionate about two things: food and coffee, needless to say a brand new shinny expresso machine was installed in the messroom within weeks to satisfy the latter. Apart from talking passionately about food, it seems most Italians actually cook and have some degree culinary expertize, they also consumed food in a different way, previously I had been working in the South China Sea for some 5 years, there people would visit the service counter once, piling food on top a substantial mounds of rice which was accompanied by a bowl of Asian style soup, usually full of bones..!
Our new Italian friends had a different approach to meal times; they would take much smaller amounts of food, but visit the service counter 3 times in a single meal sitting seeming enjoying the leisurely stroll whilst engaging in enthusiastic conversation before deliberating on what to eat next.
The Italians were certainly appreciative of the quality and selection of food we provided on-board, their enthusiasm for food means not only do they enjoy eating but they also critique your food and offer culinary tips on how they do things, and it seems there was no end to the variations on how to make Italian style tomato sauce, as each person who offered his or her recipe they seemed to have a slightly different view. Regardless of what ingredients were in the sauce, one thing all the recipes had in common was that they were all simple.
This recipe is one of 2 recipes I developed from the advice given to me. This is an Italian Tomato Sauce at its most basic, can be made quickly and used straight away, but when time allows it benefits from long slow cooking to fully infuse the flavours. The taste of this sauce mellows out beautifully if allowed to simmer for 1 to 2 hours. I often place a lid on the pot and put it in a slow oven 140°C to just simmer gently.