You say Tomaytom I say Tomahto, I want Pomodoro.

Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 10:20 am
Have just finished making a batch of 'Flup Soup' that started out as a basic tomato pasta sauce (due to my total inability to make anything that calls for 1 onion, 1 carrot & 1 stick of celery, even if it is just for me), I wondered if the gourmets I've found in A2k lamd had a favourite tomato sauce recipe. Would love to hear them if you have the time.

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Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 10:50 am
I make it differently every time.. depending on what is at hand.
Back when I had good pancetta available and garden tomatoes around, I did a simple fresh tomato/pancetta/mint; back when I always had a supply of hot or mild ital sausage, that would be the mainstay along with sauteed onions. The sauce would be fairly dense and rich and might go on polenta. When I have fresh mushrooms there are mushroom variations, sort of like goldberg variations. Fresh garden basil, near a reason to live in itself, tends to go in a relatively simple fresco type sauce. Much more usual is that I'll use canned tomatoes with sauteed onion and garlic and build from there. Sometimes there is carrot and celery in the "battuto", but usually not - although I use them in Marcella Hazan's ragu bolognese. There's a recipe for that here on a2k; I'll see if I can find it.

No recipes otherwise - even though I occasionally save some that I read. My mode is "some of this, some of that".
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 11:42 am
That's very much my way as well Osso. I occasionally have a brain melt and buy a new brand of sauce that may have either caught my eye on an advert or even worse has really pretty packaging that makes it look 'authentic' as mamma used to make. It is always horrible and ends up in the bin!

What I sometimes find though when I make a pasta sauce with fresh or canned tomato, even with the addition of tomato puree(paste) is that it tastes - thin, (can't think of a better way to describe it), and I don't know what I do differently to cause this. Any ideas?

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Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 01:07 pm
I recently saved one of Rachel Allen's recipes to try the next time I make a batch of tomato sauce. The good news for you is she's from Ireland and it has all the metric measurements.

This is the tomato sauce portion of her recipe for lasagne with a b├ęchamel sauce.

For the bolognese sauce

1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
15g (1/2oz) butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed or grated
250g (9oz) minced beef or 125g (41/2oz) minced beef and 125g (41/2oz) minced pork
75ml (21/2fl oz) white wine
75ml (21/2fl oz) beef, chicken or vegetable stock
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
Salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

First make the Bolognese sauce. Place the onion, carrot and celery in a food processor and whiz until finely chopped. Put the butter and olive oil in a saucepan on a medium heat and when the butter melts, add the onion, carrot and celery and stir over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are cooked and light golden.

Turn up the heat, add the garlic and beef and stir, breaking up the lumps of mince until it changes colour. Then add the wine, stock and tomatoes (and all their juice) and season with salt, pepper and a good pinch of sugar. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to low, simmering with the lid off for about 20 minutes until the Bolognese sauce is quite thick. Finally, add the chopped basil and parsley and season to taste.
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Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 03:23 pm
On a thick tomato sauce, I'd use a lot of real tomatoes in season cooked down slowly. I happen to not like the taste of tomato paste in sauces , which maybe because I've never had really good tomato paste, or maybe from all those cheapo pizzas). A lot of sauce recipes by good chefs do list it.

These recipes are northern italian:

Here's M. Hazan's bolognese - http://able2know.org/topic/109277-1#post-3012220
I don't consider it a tomato sauce as such, even though tomatoes are a part of the flavor blend. This one presents as a velvety meat sauce.

Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style

Ragu' is not to be confused with ragout. A ragout is a French meat stew, while ragu' is Bologna's meat sauce for seasoning its homemade pasta. The only thing they share is the common and justified origin in the verb ragouter, which means "to excite the appetite."

A properly made ragu' clinging to the folds of homemade noodles is one of the most satisfying experiences accessible to the sense of taste. It is no doubt one of the greatest attractions of the enchanting city of Bologna, and the Bolognese claim one cannot make a true ragu' anywhere else. This may be so, but with a little care, we can come very close to it. There are three essential points you must remember to make a successful ragu'.

* The meat must be sauteed just barely long enough to lose its raw color. It must not brown or it will lose delicacy.
* It must be cooked in milk before the tomatoes are added. This keeps the meat creamier and sweeter tasting.
* It must cook at the merest simmer for a long, long time. The minimum is 3 1/2 hours; 5 is better.

The union of tagliatelle and ragu' is a marriage made in heaven, but ragu' is also very good with tortellini, it is indispensable in lasagne, and is excellent with such macaroni as rigatoni, ziti, conchiglie, and rotelle. Whenever a menuy lists pasta alla bolognese, that means it is served with ragu'.

For 6 servings, or 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups

2 tbs chopped yellow onion
3 tbs olive oil
3 tbs butter
2 tbs chopped celery
2 tbs chopped carrot
[the battuto, says osso]

3/4 pound ground lean beef, preferably chuck or the meat from the neck
[osso - I sincerely doubt she means 7% fat, I'd use at least 15%]

1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup milk [I think she means whole milk, and don't play with that myself]
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 cups canned italian tomatoes, roughly chopped, with their juice.

1. An earthenware pot should be your first choice for making ragu'. If you don't have one available, use a heavy, enameled cast-iron casserole, the deepest one you have (to keep the ragu from reducing too quickly). Put in the [battuto] chopped onion, with all the oil and butter, celery and carrot and cook gently for 2 minutes.
[I use my army navy store cast iron, no enamel, dutch oven]

2. Add the ground beef, crumbling it in the pot with a fork. Add 1 tsp sallt, stir, and cook only until the meat has lost its raw, red color. Add the wine, turn the heat up to medium high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the wine has evaporated. [err on the side of too little cooking, I'd say]

3. Turn the heat down to medium, add the milk and the nutmeg, and cook until the milk has [pretty much] evaporated. Stir frequently.

4. When the milk has evaporated, add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly. When the tomatoes have started to bubble, turn the heat down until the sauce cooks at the laziest simmer, just and occasional bubble. [italics osso] Cook, uncovered for a minimum of 3 1/2 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and correct for salt. (If you cannot watch the sauce for such a long stretch, you can turn off the heat and rsume cooking it later on. But do finish cooking it in one day.)

Note: Ragu' can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen. Reheat until it simmers for about 15 minutes before using.

Here's Giuliano Bugialli's winter tomato sauce - doesn't seem all that time consuming in contrast to the slow cooked bolognese:

2 carrots, scrapped
1 large red onion, cleaned
2 celery ribs
1 large clove garlic, peeled
5 or 6 sprigs italian parsley, leaves only
2 or 3 leaves basil, fresh or preserved in salt
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 cup hot meat or chicken broth, preferably homemade
1 pound fresh ripe tomatoes, skin and seeds removed, or
1 pound canned tomatoes, preferably imported italian, drained

Chop the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, parsley, and basil very fine, heat oil in a flameproof saucepan (preferably terra-cotta, but a heavy enameled one will do), then add chopped ingredients along with the salt and pepper. Heat over low heat and saute very gently until golden (about 12 minutes).

Add the wine and let it evaporate; then, stirring very well with a wooden spoon, pour in the hot broth and reduce on low heat for about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer very slowly for about 20 minutes until they are completely cooked and the sauce is homogeneous.

Taste for salt and pepper. If more salt is needed add an extra cup of lukewarm water also, in order to integrate the additional salt, and reduce.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper's recipe for Winter Tomato Sauce is only slightly different from Bugialli's, but I'll copy it anyway, interesting details, plus no wine -

She says to play with the sauce's flavorings as Emilia-Romagna cooks do. Saute in a little butter, pancetta, or prosciutto instead of olive oil. Season with basil, rosemary, marjoram, or sage. And that the recipe doubles easily.

3 tablespooons fruity extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 small carrot, minced
1 small stalk celery with leaves, minced
3 tablespoons minced italian parsley
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves, or 2 fresh sage leaves and 1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon imported italian tomato paste
2 pounds canned tomatoes in their liquid, or fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
pinch of sugar (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Working ahead: The sauce can be made up to 4 days before serving. Cook, cover, and store in the refrigerator. Freeze the sauce up to 3 months.
Making the sauce:
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a 3 to 4 cup saucepan. Drop in the minced vegetables and parsley. Slowly saute, stirring often, 10 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- Add the garlic and herbs, and cook only 30 seconds. Blend in the tomato paste and the tomatoes, crushing them as they go into the pot. Bring the sauce to a lively bubble and keep it uncovered as you cook i over medium-high heat 8 minutes, or until thickened. Taste for seasoning.

Back later with some southern italian recipes.
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Joe Nation
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 03:47 pm
What a yummy thread.

Joe (I'll be back)Nation
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 03:49 pm
@Joe Nation,
Hurry back! I just know you make a good gravy..
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 03:52 pm
5 ingredients or less girls. I cant write that fast any more.

Shrimp and 1 finey chopped jalepeno in atomatoey and chicken broth. Serve over noodles
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 04:14 pm
That sounds like one of my soups..

One of the many ways I dishonor regional italian cooking is to sometimes do something mortal sinnish like adding some fair amount of chile powder or flakes to a serious sauce like Marcella Hazan's. I know this is wrong, wrong, wrong. I've been known to adulterate it with garlic too. Wrong. It's supposed to be rich but mellow.

Two of those recipes I posted above, the northern ones, had one clove of garlic. M. Hazan's had none, which is right for Bolognese sauce.
Butrflynet's source used two, good move according to my california taste buds.

Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 07:08 pm
Whad, you don slice you garlec wid razeh blade?
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 07:11 pm
Nah, I use the old flat of the knife smash technique..
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 08:13 pm
You should watch Goodfellas and learn that if you slice your garllic very thin, it melts in the gravy
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 08:19 pm
I saw that, but long ago. I'm a fumblebum with sharp knives..
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Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 08:21 pm
the chef on river cottage makes his tomato sauce by slicing tomatoes in half, placing them cut side up in a baking dish, drizzling olive oil over them along with garlic and fresh copped basil, roast the tomatoes and then press the tomatoes through a sieve

he adds hot peppers before roasting if he wants some spice in the mix
Robert Gentel
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 08:26 pm
I make a sauce that is a bit... unique. But I like it.

- spicy italian sausage (2lbs)
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 small cans of tomato paste
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 1 onion
- as much garlic as you can stand
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- fresh basil
- dry basil
- dry oregano
- salt
- black pepper
- mushrooms
- 0lives
- artichoke hearts
- tons of olive oil
- parmesan cheese

Fry the sausage with olive oil, black pepper, salt, dry basil/oregano, and garlic/onion powder and fresh garlic/onions. Add the mushrooms, artichokes and olives last and just burn off the excess liquid before transferring it all to a crock pot with the rest of the ingredients and cook it for at least an hour.

I eat it on spaghetti.It's weird and "chunky" (like a chili con carne) and I could eat it every day.
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Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 08:27 pm
Now that sounds great..
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Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 08:39 pm
Mark Bitten's version of roasted tomato sauce


easy peasy eh

the best tip there ...

The beauty of this sauce is that it freezes well -- in freezer bags, in ice-cube trays or in muffin tins. Whatever you think will work best for you when you want to thaw it later.

muffin tins! I've got some silicone muffin thingies that would be perfect for this purpose. Just the right size for one serving of sauce.
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 08:53 pm
pretty similar, i think he sometimes uses a food processor, but for some reason he really likes to push stuff through sieves

he freezes the stuff to, he uses the sauce for pastas, as a base for his homemade ketchup, in soups
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 09:10 pm
A food mill is kinda like a sieve. Nice and retro.

Roasted tomato sauces are a great classic.

Everything is better with roasted veggies Very Happy
Reply Sat 15 Jan, 2011 06:13 am
gotcha, i saw food mill, read food processor, and a food mill is what he uses if not just pushing it through a sieve

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