Monday, March 28, 2011

The Frugal Kitchen: Basic Tomato Sauce

Most of the time people think of cooking tomato sauce for pasta as a day long cooking experience, using a recipe with many ingredients and a long, slow simmering time.  But most Italian cooks have a much simpler recipe that they make in the summer with ingredients straight from the garden.

All You Need For Great Tomato Sauce
In a large frying pan add several tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Bring up to a medium heat.  Use very fresh ripe tomatoes for this next step:  peel tomatoes if you wish, halve tomatoes and squeeze out the seeds.  Place the tomatoes cut side down in the hot oil.  Peel two garlic cloves, put them in the oil whole.  By not slicing or chopping the garlic you will get a much more subtle flavor.

Let the tomatoes cook until they have broken down.  You can help a bit with a spoon, but not too much, this is rustic.  Remove the garlic cloves.  Add basil leaves, lightly chopped if you wish.  Stir and cook for only a minute more.  Add salt to taste.  If tomatoes are very acidic add a teaspoon of white sugar.

Serve this sauce over pasta for a quick summer meal.  If you want to gussy it up you can begin to add ingredients such as capers, olives, or ground anchovy.  A good additional seasoning would be red pepper flakes.  You can also top this pasta with the grated cheese of your choosing.

This is a simple and very personal dish.  Every family has their favorite version.  Make it the way your family will like it or the way grandma did.

God bless,

1 comment:

  1. Pam, thank you. I look forward to reading your blog. I am a 53 yr. old woman who has recently given up a social services career to stay home, babysit my grandchildren and launch an organic farming/sustainable living project with my oldest daughter. ( I have searched the blogosphere for inpsirational women to help ease me into this different life. Thank you for being here!