Note to Self:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

20 Minute Tomato Sauce

This is without doubt the easiest and most flavorful tomato sauce to make. It's easy (did I mention that already), it only takes a few minutes, and it's versatile. Mostly, I use this on pasta, but it goes great with fish or chicken as well (as a braising sauce or as a condiment). There are plenty variations; I usually make it pretty basic and let the flavor of the tomatoes stand out, but you could easily add a little cream and curry for an Indian version, or chipotle chilies for a Mexican version. One of my favorite additions is a few anchovies.

Anyhow, the key to this is the ripeness of the tomatoes. If you don't have them growing in your garden try to purchase locally grown ones from a farmer's market ('tis the season). I also add onion and garlic, and a pepper or two if I have them.

Remember, this like any recipe is simply a guide...the variations are seemingly endless. I make small batches of this throughout late summer, and in early fall I usually make a big batch and freeze it in increments. To see last years post on this click here. Anyhow, here's how to make it (click any photo for a closer look):

Core and quarter the tomatoes (no need to skin and seed them). Dice onions, garlic, and peppers (if you are using them).

Heat a pan with olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and peppers first, when they begin to brown add the garlic (at this point I also add a little crushed hot pepper, fennel seed, and a pinch of sugar).


Cook the garlic for a minute or two then add the tomatoes.

Stir the tomatoes with a little seas salt and the other ingredients and then add a cup or so of liquid...depending on what type of sauce your making this can be anything from water, chicken stock, or wine...I added a little wine and water. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook the tomatoes about ten minutes (this would be a good time to cook pasta, if that's what you're making the sauce for).

The key thing to not skinning or seeding the tomatoes is pureeing it. An immersion blender or a traditional blender work excellent for this, a food processor does not puree it quite fine enough in my opinion.

After the sauce is pureed, stir in fresh basil and simmer it for a couple minutes. Because the sauce is made with fresh tomatoes and then pureed, it takes on an almost creamy consistency.

Add pasta and any other garnish ingredients you'd like (shrimp is another good option). Stir it to coat with the sauce and toss with cheese. If you are a pretty good cook the entire process should take no more than 20 minutes...maybe 30 if your sipping wine while cooking. And yes, it is as good as it looks.

1 comment:

John in NH said...

my god that looks amazing, I gots tomato's and one benefit is Vermont hydroponics, fresh tomatos in the dead of winter ftw!