Anthony Stewart

Boiling it down!

TOMATO SAUCE FROM SCRATCH

So there I stood, staring into the pantry in utter disbelief… We’re out of tomato paste!  And here I was all set to have some Linguini.  But, never one to pass up a good food challenge I decided to make some tomato/spaghetti/pasta sauce from scratch!

First I hit up the usual suspects online to get some recipe ideas, Saveur, Food Network, The Wellness Mama, etc.  I made my ingredient list and was out the door.  I went to Jay International here in St. Louis on Grand.  It’s a Chinese store that has a good variety of fresh veggies.  They are also organic for the most part so don’t expect to see the highly polished, wax coated light enhanced veggies you see at Schnucks or other large

grocery chains.  I picked up some cilantro, Italian parsley (flat leaf), 4 cartons of grape

tomatoes, 2 yellow onions and some scallions. Not that I would be using all that in the sauce but I like to consistently pickup things I regularly use.

 

Since there were a ton of recipes for tomato sauce I decided to take a shortcut, (or so I thought) and throw out some of the unnecessary, “Let me show you how dope I am” steps the chefs were adding.  My ingredient list and method came down to this:

 

 A stick and a half of Kosher Unsalted Butter

 

 4 Cartons of Grape (cherry like) tomatoes

 

 1/4 Cup of Turbinado Sugar

 

 8 Pre-peeled cloves of garlic (minced)

 

 1 medium sized Yellow onion

 

 1 Tbsp of Leila Crunch

 

 1 Tbsp of Leila Spice

 

 1 Tbsp of Himalayan (Pink) salt

 

I got a saucepan out, which is nothing more than a small pot, added the butter and set the stove to a low heat to melt the butter slow enough not to burn.  I grabbed the blender and  blended the tomatoes NOT to a smooth liquid form, but to a finely chopped form.  I did this so that the sauce would have some bulk to it almost like a meaty texture.

I added the blended/chopped tomatoes to the pot, added the Turbinado sugar, minced garlic and an onion that I sliced into 4 large sections (quartered).  I turned the stove up to a medium heat and stirred the mixture a few times.  I then added the spices and stirred a few more times.

 

Then I waited.. and waited… and waited!  I waited all of 45 minutes, stirring every so often so that it would not clump up and possibly start to burn on the bottom. I needed for it to evaporate most of the water from the tomatoes and reduce to a thicker sauce texture.  About 35 minutes in I added a 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the more it thickened the more I reduced the heat until it was just what I wanted.

I took the large onion slices out and set them to the side.  I tasted one and WOW it was delicious!  My children tried them and finished them off.  You don’t have to remove them if you don’t want to.  I did so because I just wanted Sauce.  Anyway, it came out wonderfully!  I made the Linguini, added the sauce and it was a hit with us all.  I liked the sauce so much I used it the next day on some basmati rice and it was just as good. 

Lastly you can replace the Leila Spice and Crunch with your own seasonings and just season to taste.  Or you can buy Leila’s!  Yeah that was my commercial :)

I hope you enjoyed my little journey in making my first tomato sauce.  Hopefully yours will turn out just as well.  If not… hit me up and we’ll fix it.

 

 

 

Anthony Stewart

The Mixologist

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