Monday, February 23, 2009

Basic Tomato Sauce

There are just some recipes that every cook should know. These are a cook's 'go to' recipes that can be whipped up in your sleep to rave reviews. I make a mean flank steak and salmon bulgogi, but sometimes I forget about simpler dishes. Since spaghetti is such a weeknight mainstay, one of the first things I should have learned to make was tomato sauce. I used to pick up any jar of sodium-laden red sauce but never again!

Tomato sauce and spaghetti dishes never used to wow my tastebuds. I've never dreamt of the perfect bologonese. This recipe changed all that. It may change your life too. It changed Adam Roberts' life after all, just read the first chapter of his book. Try it and you too will be a believer in tomato sauce. This recipe comes from Mario Batali but you don't need any fancy Iron Chef technique to make it. Just simmer and stir. It makes a lot of sauce so store it up in jars, freeze it, keep it in the refrigerator for a week.

Basic Tomato Sauce
Mario Batali's Babbo Cookbook

1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely shredded
2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes (I buy fire roasted for added flavor)
1 tblsp dried thyme (or 3 tblsp fresh)
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and cook until just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or until fragrant. Add the carrot and thyme and cook a minute more. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and combine everything together -- scraping up any bits off the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and stir often. Reduce to a low simmer and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. It should reduce quite a bit and get very thick. Finally, season with salt and pepper. If you prefer a smooth sauce, blend the sauce in batches. Add meat for a meat sauce or mushrooms, peppers, etc to be ladled over your pasta dish.

1 comment:

  1. A coworker of mine was raving about his homemade tomato sauce and I was practically salivating (since I am the tomatoes' #1 fan), but then he said he added green peppers...


    and mushrooms...


    I just want straight up tomatoes and seasoning.