My friend Gina is always raving about awesome "red sauce" that her husband Ryan makes. He was kind enough to freeze a little for me this fall when he put up just a few too many tomatoes for winter. It is nestled safely in my freezer currently, but while I wait to experience that awesomeness, I've been trying to cook up a little of my own.
Basic Tomato Sauce as a starting point and just adjusted my ingredients a bit. For this batch, I used a can of peeled tomatoes (28z) and 1# of romas, copped, gutted and smushed. I supplemented the missing juices and sauce with about a cup of Malbec. The base of the sauce is a mirepoix, minus celery, plus garlic. I shredded the carrot this time (the first time it was a fine dice) and sauteed the veggies with some olive oil. Rather than Batali's heavily "thymed" recipe, I shook up my spices a bit. I used a heaping tablespoon of Herbs de Provence and then a shake or two of sea salt, and tons of freshly ground black pepper. What I FORGOT to do with this batch that made the last one so great was to thrown in a sprig of fresh rosemary while the sauce thickened. That extra spicing gives this simple sauce a really tasty kick.
I also pureed a little more than half of the sauce in the blender and mixed it back into the chunky portion. This is the texture I prefer in my tomato sauce...plus, it takes care of the extra skins from the fresh tomatoes.
|Mine was not nearly this "chunky," but it's pretty!|
We used the sauce again for lunch on Monday, and it was (as could be expected) even better. I even had it Wednesday for lunch over cous cous. Am I the only person in this world who loves left overs? Sometimes I feel like it...
One trick I learned in making fresh tomato sauce in my few attempts so far...it gets this orange-ish color rather than maintaining the rich red of the fresh tomatoes. Solution? Roast a medium or small beet until tender and puree it with your sauce-- it brightens the color like magic!