Basic Tomato Sauce

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Basic Tomato Sauce

This basic tomato sauce recipe can be used in a Creole Sauce, Portugese Sauce or Spanish Sauce. See various adaptations in the Note section below.
Course Sauces, Soups and Chowders
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 oz. salt pork diced
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk finely chopped
  • 2 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste

Sachet

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 whole clove
  • 5 black peppercorns crushed
  • 1 piece cheese cloth cut into 6-inch square
  • 1 piece butcher's twine cut 12-inches long

Instructions

  • To make the sachet, place the bay leaf, garlic, thyme, clove and black peppercorns in the square of the cheesecloth. Gather up the corners and twist together, using one end of the string, tie the sachet closed. The other end of the string (the long end) will be suspended from the handle of the saucepan.
  • Peel, seed and dice the 2 pounds of ripe tomatoes (See #14 on Cooking Tips page.) place into a blender and blend till smooth and reserve.
  • Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy 4-quart saucepan over moderate heat. Add the salt pork and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until pork is partially rendered.
  • Add the onion and celery. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the flour, stirring to combine. Cook, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes or until the roux is light brown in color.
  • Slowly add the chicken broth until combined then add the reserved blended tomatoes and incorporate using a hand blender.
  • Tie the pre-made sachet to one handle of the saucepan, letting it dangle in the liquid. Bring back to a boil, Then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for one hour or until sauce has thickened to desired consistency.
  • Untie the sachet. Allow the sauce to cool some, then pour stock (and sachet) through a fine strainer or china cap lined with cheesecloth. Use a ladle or spoon to gently press any remaining vegetables through the strainer. Discard sachet.
  • Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve. Or cool completely, then cover and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Sauce may be frozen for up to 3 months.

Notes

CREOLE SAUCE: Heat a heavy saucepan over moderate heat. When pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons safflower oil. When oil is hot, add 1 small diced onion, 1 thinly-sliced stalk celery, 1 small diced green pepper and 1 clove chopped garlic. Saute lightly for 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add 1 quart Basic Tomato Sauce, 1 bay leaf, a pinch of thyme and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve. Yield: About 4 cups.
PORTUGUESE SAUCE: Heat a heavy saucepan over moderate heat. When pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons safflower oil. When oil is hot, add 1 small diced onion and saute for 2 or 3 minutes or until translucent. Add 3 medium, finely-diced tomatoes and 1 clove minced garlic. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until reduced by one-third. Stir in 1 quart Basic Tomato Sauce and 3 tablespoons chopped parsley. Simmer for 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve. Yield; About 4 cups.
SPANISH SAUCE: Heat a heavy sauce pan over moderate heat. When pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons safflower oil then add 1 small diced onion, 2 small diced green peppers and 1 clove minced garlic. Lightly saute but take care not to brown. Add 1/4-pound of sliced mushrooms and saute for 1 to 2 minutes longer or until soft. Add 1 quart Basic Tomato Sauce and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt, white pepper and hot red pepper sauce. Serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve. Yield: About 4 cups.
Adapted from Cooking At The Academy.

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