My Nana’s spaghetti sauce cured diseases. It’s a medical fact, based on my life. This currant-colored remedy melted my problems away. There was no written ingredient list or particular ratio of spices I knew of, but it was amazing. Fast forward to my adult years – I learned she just jazzed up a can of Prego for all these decades.
My naive perception aside, my Nana was able to transform Prego into a staple of comfort. This savory elixir, i.e. Prego Remix, was her personality expressed through food. It was salty, just like her attitude when someone bid $1 on The Price Is Right. The extra pinch of basil leaf swooned you mid-bite like she did when debating with Papa; a dollop of [secret ingredient] hugs all the flavors together like she did when she forced the grandkids to hug in the midst of fighting. This was the foundation of dinner parties, wakes, and random conversations paired with a french loaf dipped in some leftover sauce.
Osteria Francescana, recently named the best restaurant in the world, contains this same concept: a simple foundation for personal touches of home expressed through carefully crafted dishes. Check out this amazing video to get a taste of what I mean.