Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pasta Sauce: One Year Later

One of my earliest posts to this blog was a recipe for homemade sauce- and that was over a year ago! In that time, I've learned so much- and even that recipe has evolved and changed. The original is still up on the site, if you are curious, but here is the one-year-later take on how to make some good ol' Italian Gravy:

2 28-oz cans of peeled tomatoes (I prefer san marzano imported)
2 28-oz cans of a different brand, sometimes I use wood-fired for different flavor
2 healthy handfuls of freshly chopped basil
1 healthy handful of fresh chopped parsely
1 handful of fresh oregano
Dashes of marjoram, thyme, and rosemary
3 garlic coves peeled & minced
1 shallot minced
stems of celery, minced
olive oil
up to 1/2 can of water
splash of wine
sea salt & pepper- black and red
Pecorino & Parmeggiano cheese to grate on top
Pasta of preference

1. Coat bottom of a sauce pot with olive oil. Over low heat, add in garlic, shallots, and celery. 'Sweat' the onions and garlic- stirring frequently, and NOT allowing to brown. Cook until they begin to break down softly.
2. Add in herbs. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring and crushing ingredients against the sides and bottoms of pot. Add in more olive oil if it starts to dry out. Wilt greens into the oil, releasing flavors.
3. Once herbs have wilted into the oil, add in the 4 cans of tomatoes. Stir and crush some of the larger tomatoes with wooden spoon. Turn up heat and allow to boil briefly, then turn down to simmer.
4. Salt & pepper, allow to simmer, the longer, the better, but at minimum, an hour. If simmering for longer times, you may need to add in more water.
5. Stir occasionally, and after first hour, smell and taste, adjust flavors.
6. Prior to serving, pour in a splash of a dry red italian wine.

This sauce freezes up really well!! We usually have enough to make 4 1-lb boxes of pasta with this recipe. We've also used it on pizzas and in our eggplant & chicken parm!!

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