Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tomato Sauce

Came out pretty good. This was adjusted from how I actually made it.

2T olive oil
1c onion, finely chopped*
1/2c carrot, celery finely chopped*
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1t italian seasoning
1/8t red pepper flakes (optional. the more, the more kick. 1/4t was used tonight and it was a bit more heat than I'd intended)
28oz can whole tomatoes
2T red wine
2t sugar
1/4c finely chopped parsley
kosher salt, divided
black pepper

*the veggies need to be chopped fine enough to fit through the openings of the immersion blender. If you're using a traditional blender or food mill it's probably not such a big deal

Heat olive oil in pot / pan over medium heat until drops of water fizz, not crackle and pop.
Add onion, carrot, celery, large pinch salt (appx 1/4t). Stir regularly. You do not want the onions to scorch. This is important. Continue 5-8 minutes until veggies are soft but not brown.
Add Italian Seasoning, red pepper flakes, garlic & stir regularly for 1 minute. You will notice the fragrance of the herbs lose its sharpness while that of the garlic becomes more noticeable.
Add tomatoes, bring to a simmer (you can turn up the heat to save a few minutes, but remember that, in general, the higher the heat, the closer attention the food requires.)
Turn heat to med-low, add Red Wine and sugar and continue to simmer. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, mashing the tomatoes against the side of the pot. As the sauce simmers, the tomatoes will mash more easily.
Total simmer time 15-20 minutes. That is when the tomatoes have broken down about as much as you can do and the sauce has reduced a bit.
Add parsley, blend with immersion blender.
Taste sauce. Add salt, black pepper, and sugar to taste. (What does to taste mean? It means until you can taste salt. Just kidding. Salt is not there so that you taste salt. Salt brings out flavors. As you add a little more, it will bring out the flavors. Just don't overdo it. A maximum of 1t total, but many people would be happy with 1/2t.)
Simmer 5 minutes, serve or store.

Served tonight with penne & meatballs with steamed broccoli and baguette. Yummy.

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