Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

INDOOR COOKING: Perfect Red Pasta Sauce

Welcome to our first installment of Indoor Cooking. Unless you count all the side dish recipes and salsa recipes and hot sauce recipes... alright, I guess we're not doing anything too strange.

Does the thought of making your own homemade tomato sauce conjure up an image of an elderly Italian grandmother, simmering a big pot of homegrown pureed tomatoes on the back of the stove for hours in her rustic Italian countryside kitchen, with a sparkle in her eye as she prepares a dozen dishes to make for all her hungry family members while the sauce bubbles away?  Well, look elsewhere, because in real life, most people, including Italians, don't quite have the time to stew and puree their own tomatoes.


That's because there are great commercially available canned tomatoes all over the place in this day and age.  They're available whole, pureed, crushed, or chopped.  If you have 20 minutes or so, you can make a zesty sauce way tastier than anything in a jar.  Yeah, 20 minutes or so.

Note: for best results, buy tomatoes labeled "San Marzano" as long as they're on sale.  They can get pretty pricey, so if that fails, the ones labeled "organic" are always great.

One 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
One 28 oz. can tomato puree
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
Dash red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white sugar
1 cup chopped parsley (a significant amount indeed)


1. In a medium saucepan, bring heat to medium.

2. Pour in olive oil, chopped garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Allow to cook a minute or two, until garlic lightly browns and releases a slightly toasty aroma.

3. Add tomatoes and stir to keep bubbling to a minimum, or your shirt will have dinner on it.  You'll notice the olive oil won't seem to want to incorporate into the tomatoes at first, but after a couple minutes, it will.

4. Add all other ingredients: salt, pepper, sugar, parsley.  Bring heat down to a medium simmer, and let it go for 10-15 minutes.  The redness of the sauce will deepen when it's ready.

5. Do a taste test if you want, but you almost won't need to.  It will be good.

6. Turn off heat.  Put sauce on stuff.  Eat that stuff.  That was really easy.

If you want to add an extra layer of flavor, add a handful of grated pecorino romano right at the end when you're turning off the heat.

No comments: