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View Full Version : Absolutely the best tomato sauce



Angela
07-06-18, 01:50
Yes, in my humble opinion. :) Be aware, this is not southern "marinara" sauce. It's "northern" sauce, as in north of Rome sauce.

I'm not showing a sauce made from fresh tomatoes. Frankly, I have no idea why there are tons of recipes and videos for sauce made with fresh tomatoes. In America, and in most central and northern European countries from what I've seen, the only time you can find decent tomatoes for eating or sauce is at the end of the summer when you can, for a few weeks, get locally grown, sun-ripened sweet tomatoes, if indeed they're grown. The rest of the time they're a mushy, totally tasteless mess. Plus, they have to be blanched and peeled and preferably de-seeded before using, so it's tons more work and mess.

I, my mother, all my relatives, use tinned "crushed" plum tomatoes (passata, in Italian), or tinned, jarred, whatever, whole plum tomatoes, which you crush by hand before using. I really urge you to, if at all possible, use imported San Marzano plum tomatoes. They're meaty, not acidic, already peeled, and almost seedless, with a wonderful taste. It makes a big difference, I promise. Cans of tomato puree, which I see in American supermarkets, is too thin, imo.

The only you tube video, strangely, which does it "our" way is by Giada. It must be because American tastes have been formed by southerners. Don't get me wrong: I really like marinara sauce, but I would never personally use it on pasta. You should try this more delicate version.

Here she is. You can see the ingredients. For a bigger pot, which I use, just double and triple, whatever.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJsg6j5_3ic

Why she's calling it mirepoix instead of sofrito I have no idea. It's an Italian dish, not French. Add the vegetables all at once as well: she's going to burn that onion and garlic. As soon as the garlic, of which I use only one clove, has released its oils and softened, I remove it. Use very low heat as well, and cook only until the aromatics are translucent, not brown. That's when you add the tomatoes. Let it slowly bubble away for an hour. At the end I usually add some chopped Italian parsley for freshness or basil on occasion. However, American basil is very bitter compared to Italian basil. It tastes much more "minty" to me. So, I grow my own in a pot in half sun/half shade. If you buy it, use the smallest leaves.

When I add it to pasta I add a big knob of cold butter. It enriches the taste and emulsifies the sauce.

Best marinara sauce on the internet, imo, is that of Lidia Bastianich:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1m4ti2BQvI

Angela
15-05-20, 21:59
Tuscan tomato sauce, which is basically what I make for everyday pastas. It's all subtitled in English.

I would only use fresh tomatoes during the few weeks at the end of summer when they're available ripe and sweet from farm stands. Otherwise I use imported peeled whole plum tomatoes which I then crush by hand, not in a blender.

I also add one whole clove garlic which I then remove, and I dice my carrots, onions and celery much smaller. I am going to try it his way with bigger pieces and see if it really does result in a better taste.

One odd thing is that he "drains" the mix before he mashes it. I never saw anyone do that. Imo he's throwing away half the flavor. I just cook it down more so it's thicker.

Like him I add butter when I mix in order to emulsify the sauce.

I mentioned this in a comment on a youtube video as something my people and neighbors always did, and got lambasted by an Italian American know it all who thought he knew all about Italian food. NOT!:)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27aAsz9XwxM
Btw, you can see his face on painting after painting from Toscana during the Renaissance. :)

Duarte
15-05-20, 22:20
My wife is using, at least in this quarantine period, a tomato sauce made in Marigliano, Province of Naples ;)

https://i.imgur.com/pncPOph.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/OS34Wlb.jpg

Angela
16-05-20, 16:37
My wife is using, at least in this quarantine period, a tomato sauce made in Marigliano, Province of Naples ;)

https://i.imgur.com/pncPOph.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/OS34Wlb.jpg

Yes, Giada's video version used the passata, or what they call here "crushed" tomatoes. I just noticed that it isn't available under that youtube account any more, but someone else posted it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsWOhUaXkyw

I see some of the written comments on google are that it is too bland. I would say delicate. :) If someone wants a spicy, garlicky sauce, this isn't it. Mine is even less garlicky because I use only one whole garlic clove. We make those too, but this is our "base" sauce, what could be fed to anyone, i.e. children, the old etc.

I found it amusing that some also complained the sauce was "orange", not red. :) That's the way it's supposed to look when mixed; it's because we don't use tomato paste. Again, if that's what you want you're better off with a Southern Italian recipe.

Ingredients


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional





Directions




In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.
Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.



An immersion blender works as well, which is what I do.

Also, if I can't find the imported Italian passata, I buy the imported peeled whole San Marzano tomatoes, remove the stem and crush by hand. For that much passata or tomatoes I would probably increase the vegetables by about a half, and I use purple onions and no bay leaf.

As to making a sauce with fresh tomatoes, my mother would parboil the tomatoes, peel and de-seed them. If she didn't, the whole mixture at the end would have to go through a passatutto to remove all the "sediment".

Duarte
16-05-20, 17:06
Yes, Giada's video version used the passata, or what they call here "crushed" tomatoes. I just noticed that it isn't available under that youtube account any more, but someone else posted it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsWOhUaXkyw

I see some of the written comments on google are that it is too bland. I would say delicate. :) If someone wants a spicy, garlicky sauce, this isn't it. Mine is even less garlicky because I use only one whole garlic clove. We make those too, but this is our "base" sauce, what could be fed to anyone, i.e. children, the old etc.

I found it amusing that some also complained the sauce was "orange", not red. :) That's the way it's supposed to look when mixed; it's because we don't use tomato paste. Again, if that's what you want you're better off with a Southern Italian recipe.

Ingredients


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional





Directions




In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.
Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.



An immersion blender works as well, which is what I do.

Also, if I can't find the imported Italian passata, I buy the imported peeled whole San Marzano tomatoes, remove the stem and crush by hand. For that much passata or tomatoes I would probably increase the vegetables by about a half, and I use purple onions and no bay leaf.

As to making a sauce with fresh tomatoes, my mother would parboil the tomatoes, peel and de-seed them. If she didn't, the whole mixture at the end would have to go through a passatutto to remove all the "sediment".

Thanks Angela.
The recipe looks wonderful. I will pass it on to my son so that he and my wife can do the experiment in the kitchen. I do not cook. I just help to wash the dishes and clean the kitchen.