Tuesday, March 2, 2010

MinCat's favourite pasta sauce

Somewhere in my time in the US, I realised that tomato sauce is REALLY easy to make - it just takes time. I usually make a huge batch that lasts for about four meals of two people each. It freezes very well, and lasts in the fridge up to a week (I've never been able to resist it longer.)

The basis is tomatoes and onions, with a ton of garlic. After that, toss in whatever you want. Obviously, the more veggies you put in, the more texture it will have; but that's not a bad thing, especially for vegetarian pasta. For pizza I recommend slicing things thinly or sticking to leaves and minced peppers, because that way it doesn't mound up on the pizza, ans leaves you free to add other toppings.

The recipe changes every time I make it, depending on what's in the fridge. The last time I used this:
  • 8 medium tomatoes
  • 3 medium onion
  • 2 medium bell peppers (greens for very strong flavour, or red/orange/yellow for sweeter flavour), diced
  • 2 bunches of spinach, torn
  • 1 package mushrooms (I swear I'll get around to measuring these things one day), sliced
  • 1 tbs dried basil
  • 1 tbs dried oregano
  • 1 tbs paprika (never smoked, but then I hate smoked paprika. Which is all I have in the kitchen right now, so there was none, sob)
  • 20 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • salt to to taste
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil (up to you =)
  • 2 boxes tomato puree (400g) (You can ditch this and use more fresh tomatoes, I ran out. Use about 6 more I'd say.)
Equipment: Large saucepan/stockpot, with a thick bottom. I use my pressure cooker!

Peel the onion and whizz them in the mixie or the food processor so they're a chunky paste. Heat the oil, and sauté the garlic for a few minutes before adding the onion paste. Whizz the tomatoes in the blender too, only take the bases of the stems out. Once the onion has stopped making your eyes water, add the mushrooms and peppers, stir for a minute, literally, and then add the spinach, tomatoes, tomato puree, spices, and salt, and stir a bit. Turn flame to minimum, cover and leave for about 5 minutes. Test to see if it needs more spices or salt, and if the spinach and mushrooms haven't released enough water to cover everything then add water to cover everything. Forget about it for at least an hour, if not an hour and a half. Stir occasionally, but otherwise forget about it.

The end result: you'll smell it. It will smell like pizza heaven. It will also turn a much darker red than it was at the beginning.

Deb also has a simple simple 40-min tomato sauce.


The Cat said...

hewo, came over here from misha's blog. i made this sauce. i thought it would be different from my way of doing it, HOWEVER even as the sauce was super yum (thank you!) why was it.. non pasty, rather more shriveled tomato texture like? the essential question is: how much water should i be putting in to 'cover everything'? because i didnt really have any veggies, i put in about half a cup of water, but only half an hour into cooking, sauce was so lumpy i had to save it through some tomato puree. :P

please to suggest? btw i LOVE the blog, esp the beautiful pictures. :)

MinCat said...

YAY MY FIRST NON PERSON I KNOW! and thankeee the photos are a recent touch.

that non-sauce texture i think is because its not tomato puree, and a home blender can't get it that thin! i find it helps to put in some canned/boxed tomato puree. As for water, just add and keep an eye on it to see what texture you want to end up with.

but if you want it like bottle wala pasta sauce i'd say use only puree and maybe one fresh tomato. I like it with the little teensy bits.

The Cat said...

hehe. thankses muchly for help! :) i'll try more puree next time with less realtime tomato. :D my absolute dream is trying to get the texture right. taste is always good. the texture: damn. :P

will be trying your white sauce recipe(s) in a day or two. will tell you how that goes! (then your three milk cake; i'm a student and will have LOTS time till mphil, and am gladdd i have an indian food blog that i like!)

keep taking pictures! that's what makes us food-idiots-who-love-food-but-cant-be-bothered-to-cook-it (at least me) want to try. :P

MinCat said...

yay glad to help. that white sacue is evil. and it might cause several boys to attach themselves to you for ever. sometimes it comes out like fondue. hehehe.

yes i will keep taking pictures. and must try to stop baking cake!

Anonymous said...

and must try to stop baking cake??!

nooo! please keep on baking cake! and put resultant fab photos haha!

the cat