Versatile Basic Tomato Sauce
IntroductionA basic tomato sauce. I find the combination of Italian-style stewed tomatoes and fire-roasted tomatoes as the base gives a nice flavor to it. With a couple of additions or subtractions you can turn it into a meat sauce or a pizza sauce. A basic tomato sauce. I find the combination of Italian-style stewed tomatoes and fire-roasted tomatoes as the base gives a nice flavor to it. With a couple of additions or subtractions you can turn it into a meat sauce or a pizza sauce.
Number of Servings: 5
1 can Del Monte Stewed Tomatoes, Italian Recipe
1 can Hunts Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1 can Hunts tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup red wine
2 tbsp olive oil
Dried spices to taste. I use a mixture of oregano, thyme, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Chop all the vegetables and mince You want a medium dice on the vegetables -- not so small that the veggies disappears, but not so chunky that it feels like a stew or soup. Set the chopped vegetables to the side.
Put the stewed tomatoes and about half of the fire-roasted tomatoes in a blender or use a handheld immersion blender to puree. You want it to be slightly chunky, but not totally liquefied.
Put the pureed tomatoes, rest of the un-pureed diced tomatoes, and the tomato paste into a saucepan.
Add the 2 tbsp of olive oil to a skillet. (You can probably get away with less olive oil.) Sauté the onions and peppers with a pinch of salt until the edges start to turn brown. Toss in the garlic and continue to sauté until you can smell the aroma of the garlic. (Don't let the garlic get browned or it will taste bitter.) Set aside the onions, peppers, and garlic. Sauté the mushrooms until they release their water and start to brown. Set aside.
Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of red wine. Reduce the wine by about a half.
Pour the reduced wine into the tomato mixture, and add the reserved vegetables.
Add the spices to taste. Don't be chintzy with the spices -- this is where you can add a lot of flavor.
Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom. Once the sauce reaches a boil, lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for AT LEAST thirty minutes. The longer you can simmer it the better. Stir occasionally to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom and burning.
Makes about five 1-cup servings.
Serve over your favorite whole-wheat pasta.
Also great with with Italian sausages or meatballs and a slice or two of low-fat provolone on a good roll.
To turn it into a pizza sauce: Same instructions, but leave out the the onions, peppers, and mushrooms.
To turn it into a meat sauce: Before cooking the vegetables, brown 3/4 to 1 lb. of lean ground beef in the skillet with a few pinches of salt and pepper, and reserve. Cook the veggies in the fat left from the ground beef and reduce the olive oil accordingly. Deglaze the pan the same. Add the reserved ground beef to the sauce at the same time you add the veggies.
Number of Servings: 5
Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user CAPHILLGUY.