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Daily Archives: January 31, 2013

The Sauce Boss

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That would be me. Trying to perfect my tomato sauce. I would never have thought ten years ago to make my own sauce. Tomato sauce in a jar or can. Testing Bertolli versus Barillo versus Classico. Yep, that was me circa 1990s.

Now, I make it almost from scratch. I may use some pureed tomatoes from a can or the Pomi box. Depends on what I am doing.

Yesterday I was in the mood for spaghetti. I decided to raid the freezer and cook up some sauce.

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Blanched tomatoes from the CSA. I know they will throw off lots of water. These are basic tomatoes. Blanched, peeled, seeded and frozen. To make good sauce from these, you need to thicken it. Yesterday I used some paste and a can of Muir Glen organic tomato puree. I wanted to make a thick rich chunky meat sauce.

I started with two links of Boarman’s Italian sausage. One sweet. One hot. Put in the pot with onions and peppers. Onions from Breezy Willow. Peppers from Roots.

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The sausage is cooked in olive oil. A little garlic powder and Italian herbs.

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The frozen tomatoes are put in another pan with more garlic powder and herbs. You need to do it this way so you can drain off all of the water from the tomatoes. Here is what the tomato pan looks like at the end of the process. I had drained almost two inches of water out of it while I was working.

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Note that if you had tried to make tomato sauce with frozen whole tomatoes, it would have been extremely watery. Here is a shot of the sauce pan, with the tomato puree, the sausage mix, and as I was adding tomatoes from the other pan.

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This is the type of thick meaty tomato sauce that is perfect for lasagna, or as a filling for ravioli or shells.

The finished sauce.

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Meat sauce this thick can be thinned with a little pasta water. I took some of it and thinned it out and served it over spaghetti. The rest will be used with some tiny shells as a lunch later this week.

I didn’t take pics of the dinner plate, but I want to show the killer wine we served with it. A 2002 Barboursville Barbera Reserve.

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After all, I need to uphold my locavore image. Local wine in an Italian style. Ten years old. Lovely. As for making the sauce, much of it was local. It was almost completely organic. The pasta was organic, whole grain. Hitting most of those Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical (SOLE) buttons.