Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is a crucial ingredient for pasta dishes and that is why is also known as pasta sauce. Tomato sauces vary in taste and texture and are served with meats and vegetables. Tomatoes have a rich flavor, but what makes them ideal for sauces is their soft rich in fluid flesh. Almost all tomato sauces begin with these steps:

  1. Sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil.
  2. Adding a little salt and chopped tomatoes and simmering all together.

Commonly added seasonings are:

  • Seasonings - basil, oregano and parsley.
  • Spices - red pepper, black pepper.

Adding ground meat makes a very heavy tomato sauce. Stock or wine are added if sauce becomes too thick.

There are many versions of tomato sauce:

USA

  • Simple cooked tomato sauce with salt, olive oil and garlic. Served usually with pasta and meat.
  • Tomato paste – standardized by Food and Drug Administration for percentage of tomato solids.
  • Tomato puree - standardized by Food and Drug Administration for percentage of tomato solids.

In Louisiana Cajun cuisine, tomato sauce will be much hotter and served over white rice. And most of all, the traditional holy trinity of diced bell pepper, onions and celery will definitely be added.

India

Italy may be best known for her pastas and tomato sauces, but they learned tomato skills from Spaniards in 15 – 16th century. Huge variety of tomato sauces, ranging from the very basic tomato sauce made from tomatoes, basil and olive oil to hotter sauces like puttanesca or arrabbiata sauces.

Mexico

This is the country where tomato originated. There are many sauces such as red tomato sauce, green tomato sauce (from green tomatoes), spicy sauces and a huge selection of sophisticated tomato sauces known as moles that come in many colors and flavors.

Basic Tomato Sauce

  • 2 kg (4.4 lb) tomatoes, any variety
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh basil, to garnish
Basic tomato sauce ingredients

Basic tomato sauce ingredients.

1. Peel tomatoes and filter out the seeds. Preparing tomatoes

Peeled tomatoes are even easier to seed. Cut them across as described above.

Peeled tomatoes are even easier to seed. Cut them across as described above.

2. Dice onion. Peel garlic and slice thinly.

Diced onion and garlic.

Diced onion and garlic.

3. Heat olive oil on medium in a large pot. Cook onions and garlic until golden for about 8 minutes.

Sautéing onion and garlic.

Sautéing onion and garlic.

4. Add tomatoes and squash them with a potato masher. Mix all together and simmer for 30 minutes on low heat.

Cooking Sauce.

Cooking Sauce.

Basic tomato sauce.

Basic tomato sauce.

5. Add basil to tomato sauce before serving.

Fresh basil.

Fresh basil.

NOTE if your sauce is too lumpy, mix it in blender. You may add some red wine. Grated parmesan cheese may be added when serving.

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