Saturday, October 16, 2010
Imported San Marzano plum tomatoes are king and in my little part of the world also go for a kings ransom just under $5.00 for a 28 oz can. That is completely out of my budget so I went in search of and econimical replacement. The closest I could find in flavor and acidity are petite diced and are advertised by a chef who crashes your kitchen to cook with them.
Making a good sauce is not difficult, If you can turn on the cook top and use a can opener your half way home. Enjoy!
Prep time: 5 min. Cook time: 1 hr Yield: about 2 quarts
2 28 oz cans of tomatoes ( chopped or whole)
2 6 oz cans tomato paste
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1/3 cup (aprox.) good Italian olive oil
1 med onion (grated extra fine)
3-4 about 1 tbl spoon cloves of garlic (grated fine)
*1/2 tsp dried basil
*1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup red wine
salt to taste.
2 packets sweet and low sweetener
*Sub 1 tsp Italian seasoning
Tools: Heavy bottom stock pot, wooden spoon, box grater, blender
Start by placing the stock pot on the lowest heat add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot + a little extra; You are going to infuse the oil with flavor that will carry through the sauce.
Add the chili flakes and the herbs to the warm oil allow to heat for 10 min.to release their flavors and infuse the oil.
Add the tomato paste repeating the same process until the oil changes from a green -gold to a red tint
the longer you cook the tomato paste the more tomato flavor will be concentrated into the oil. The tomato paste will begin to caramelize intensifying the natural sweetness, so let your "inner chef " tell you when it has been long enough.
Push the tomato paste to one side of the pan the grated onion and garlic into the oil to sweat their goodness into the infusion until they become translucent this should take about 5- 10 min depending on how hot tour oil is. once the y are translucent mix them with the tomato paste.
A quick note on seasoning, I season as I go after each addition with a final adjustment at the end. You are in control so add what tastes good to you I always try to imagine the food in the pot as it where my plate and season accordingly as if I where adding it at the table.