A gay opera singer in Washington DC made this for me by chopping up an onion, throwing it into a very hot pot with mebbe 2-3 TBS olive oil until it started to carmelize, then throw in a full large can of tomato juice and let it reduce for 20 minutes. We had a lovely, lively conversation in that space of time. Ahem!
Over the years I've noted restaurants having a variety of much more elaborate versions of this. Typically called "Spaghetti Putanesca" but Osteria LaVechia in Newtown PA calls it "feminina" -- this eatery having many paintings and photos of Padre Pio adorning its walls. So I can dig where they're coming from with this more genteel name for the selfsame dish.
The version I'ma run down recognizes the fact that a lot of folks in the midAtlantic states have had to bring in the last of the tomato crops in their home gardens - many more than they can eat before they go funky. And YES, you could can 'em, make sauce out of 'em and put that up. When I retire I may do that in myself. But for folks who still work full time, here's a quick and easy way of utilizing tomatoes and making a delicious and somewhat offbeat dish - that you may not want to explain if you've got youngsters in yr household. Or dowdy relatives/friends.
MUSIC: Afterhours "I milanesi ammazzano il sabato" (the Milanese kill Saturday - meaning, party it on down!) Ingredients *1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes, or diced regular tomatoes *1/2 cup sliced or diced onions *1/4 cup diced olives (dealing with the pits if they gots pits) *1 TBS capers *1/2 head garlic *3 TBS olive oil *spaghetti *1 TBS oregano *1 tsp basil
Preparation *start heating water for spaghetti *add olive oil to cast iron pan, pot, whatever you got and head over medium high heat *chop and add tomatoes (the time it takes to prep tomatoes is enough for oil to heat up nicely) *chop and add onions (again, the timing works out nice coz you want tomatoes to cook the longest); give the whole mess a good stirring *put half head of garlic in microwave for 1 minute, then you can normally squeeze each clove right into pan with other ingredients; stir thoroughly into the other ingredients *chop and add olives; stir thoroughly into other ingredients *add capers stir thoroughly into other ingredients *if you're cooking spaghetti up fresh, add spaghetti to (by now) boiling water; if you're using leftover spaghetti just heap it on top of the sauteing vegetables, turn heat down to medium; spaghetti with heat via steaming *let cook for another 5 minutes *use tongs to serve spaghetti, then spoon sauteed vegetables over it. FIN!