Thursday, May 30, 2013

Never Buy Tomato Sauce Again!

A few weeks back I made a sauce that I added some tomato paste to and I was amazed at how much it transformed that sauce.  It made me wonder if I could make tomato sauce from tomato paste and skip buying the most expensive ingredient in spaghetti? I had leftover fresh pasta from the other day and Fern has gone south for the day so I decided to experiment.

Start with a roux. I put a teaspoon of flour in a small sauce pan and two teaspoons of oil (not extra virgin olive, it'll turn bitter). I turned the heat up and let the flour and oil bubble to cook the flour taste off.  Once the flour is cooked, browning it more reduces it's thickening ability. Cook it more to make less sauce.

I took the pan off the heat and slowly whisked chicken stock into the roux till I had a thick sauce. I added 3 cloves of mashed garlic and let it bubble in the roux to sweat a little. Next I added half a 5.5oz/156ml can of tomato paste and whisked it in.  I added more stock till I had a nice consistency. That was it, I had a basic tomato sauce for a fraction of the cost of a can of tomato sauce! I added a little dried basil and a tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley. Half a teaspoon of salt, fresh ground mixed pepper. Taste the sauce. If it's a bit too acid add a little more salt.

Serve over the fresh cooked pasta, garnish with a little fresh grated parmesan cheese and dive in! It was a delicious sauce! This tomato sauce is just as good, if not better, than the paste brand's own tomato sauce. This time I used Hunt's but I also like Mezzetta from Napa Valley. This sauce is almost as good as the Mezzetta sauce that costs $7 per jar. I'll check to see if Mezzetta makes a tomato paste. If so I'll be able to make sauce that tastes better than theirs because my chicken stock tastes superior to theirs.

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