Sunday, November 12, 2006

a multipurpose tomato sauce & good health

i generally do not like buying prepared food. for the most part, it is filled with chemicals or excessive amounts of fats and sugars & salt and processed in ways which have been shown to be harmful to our bodies.

finding a good multipurpose tomato sauce which i liked and would eat hasn't been too easy. most always seem to have some sort of cheese in them or vegetables which do not appeal to me or work with what i am making. i therefore always make my own. it is cheaper and can be whipped up in a few minutes without much work on my part.

this one is not long and involved like those that seem to take hours to cook.

according to many a report, cooked tomatoes are rich in lycopene and extremely beneficial to our good health.

take a look at the famous san marzano, the type used in premium tomato sauces, and a few other varieties of italian tomatoes like the pachino and casalino.


& more about il pomodoro san marzano here.


fast & flexible tomato sauce

this is a basic pasta sauce which is not only flexible, it is downright simple and can be made quickly and with few ingredients. it can also be used right away or frozen for future use. it is something i always have on hand and know how it will taste each time i use it. i use it as a base for many recipes and can control both the texture and flavour of it — something i cannot do with a bottled sauce.


ingredients:

1 [28 oz] can diced tomatoes
1 [5.5 oz] can tomato paste
1/2 [28 oz] can water
2 - 4 tbsp good quality olive oil
1 - 2 tsp salt
1 - 3 tbsp sugar

1/2 c red [or white] wine*
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder*
1 1/2 tsp onion powder*
1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red chili pepper [flakes]*
1/2 tsp oregano*
1/4 tsp thyme*

*optional but good to include


method:

combine all ingredients* [see below] in a wide pan [to hasten evaporation & cooking] and bring to a boil over medium heat.

let boil gently for 10 minutes.

cover the pan partially so you do not have a tremendous splattering of tomato sauce everywhere.

lower heat to very low and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until thickened. adjust seasonings to suit your taste and use right away or cool and freeze for future use.

*use a potato masher or process the tomatoes with either a food mill or food processor or blender slightly before adding if you do not want thick chunks of tomatoes [depending on the texture of your canned sauce].

notes:

* you can sauté onions and/or garlic and mushrooms to add to sauce if you like
* precooked ground beef can be put in the sauce or meatballs
* any vegetable cut in small dice can be added to fortify & personalize the sauce
* white wine can be used
* sugar is added to balance the acidity [i do not like acidic and rough sauces]
* olive oil is added to give depth to the sauce, you may omit it
* you can use a can of crushed tomatoes but the sauce will be thicker. add more liquid.

to use this as a pizza sauce, place in either a blender, food mill or processor and purée if you have not done so earlier.

4 comments:

MoreCoffee said...

I didn't think anyone actually made tomato sauce anymore. I'm actually considering whipping up a batch according to your recipe...how can anything that calls for wine be anything other than completely awesome?

burekaboy — said...

hey morecoffee -- you're right, most people just grab a bottled one at the supermarket these days. making it yourself is just as easy and fast. this way you can tailor it to suit your needs & personal tastes. the alcohol of the wine burns off as it simmers. i like to use an oaky red sometimes. i hope you like the recipe if and when you end up making it. let me know how it turns out for you.

Anonymous said...

I am very picky about my tomato sauces as well. I came across your blog by doing a search for tomato sauce. One brand I have found to be acceptable is Barilla - the plain Marinara style sauce. Stir in 1/4 cup olive oil, fresh garlic and whatever else you want. let simmer for 1-2 hours. very fresh and crisp sauce.

burekaboy — said...

anon - thanks for stopping by and your comment. i haven't tried barilla's [don't think i have seen it carried around me] but i love their pasta so i imagine their sauce is equally as good. your method sounds like mine only you cut out the canned tomatoes and tomato paste step by using their sauce. fresh and crisp is the way to go, i think.