Monday, October 29, 2012

Tomato Based Sauces


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning. If sauce tastes too acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavor.
Pour half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and then freeze for up to 6 months.

Tomato, Caper, Garlic Sauce

6 Big Handfuls of Cherry Tomatoes
2 Cloves of Garlic
1/4 cup of capers
2 Chili Peppers
Olive Oil

My Friend Federica made this for us with capers from Italy where she was this summer.  She simmered chili pepper, cut fresh garlic and tomatoes together with olive oil for around 25 mins the she poured light spicy sauce over pasta.  Note: the pepper gives the spice and the capers give the salt both so no need for adding extra salt and pepper.

(as an Italian Restaurant in NYC I once worked at calls it)

1 quart Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought marinara sauce, blended until smooth
1 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 pound of penne or one of your choosing

Simmer the tomato sauce in a heavy large skillet over low heat until the mixture reduces by 1/4, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Stir the cream into the tomato sauce. Simmer over low heat until the sauce is heated through. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and well blended.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and transfer it to the pan with the sauce, and toss to coat.

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