Thursday, September 02, 2010

Best Quick Tomato Sauce

I've been feeling off for the last few months which mainly presents itself as lack of appetite and no cravings. I can go almost the whole day without feeling hunger. Not surprisingly, at the end of the day, pow, I'm starving. Those that know me well, know this is shocking. No appetite. No cravings. This is not a Nirmala they know. Needless to say, these days, when I crave something, I absolutely have to have it. For the past several weeks, I've had ice cream for lunch about 3 times a week. I indulge in high calorie treats without worry. I was slender to begin with; more slender now. I need the calories.

Last night, I wanted pasta with this quick tomato sauce. I don't know why. With all the tomatoes available, why would I make tomato sauce created from canned tomatoes?! Well, this tomato sauce is AMAZING. It's fresh, aromatic, buttery and simply divine. It's also low effort and done in about the time it takes to boil water and get the pasta cooked. It's perfect every time. Canned tomatoes offer consistency especially the Muir Glen and Tuttorosso brands. According to Cook's Illustrated, who created this recipe, these brands heat their tomatoes at lower temperatures to preserve the enzymes that can make a tomato taste fresh!

Anyway, last night the hunger really took over. In fact, I had to make everything in this recipe twice though I've made this recipe several times. First, I decided to try using crushed fire roasted tomatoes. BIG mistake. The smokey taste overwhelmed the whole dish. You know when you crave something you crave it exactly how you imagine it. This smokey version was not even close to what I imagined. It was the horrible very distant relative. I tossed it. I rarely toss food. I despise food waste. Then I over salted the pasta water; the pasta had to be tossed too. An hour later, everything was perfect. I dove right in and relished every single scrumptious bite, the sauce cascading into the little conch shells. It was magnificent. I had this for brunch today. I recommend this recipe regardless of whether tomatoes are in season.

My only comment about this recipe is that it says that the recipe makes about 3 cups of sauce, enough for 1 lb of pasta. I find that it's really only good for about 1/2 pound. My preference is more sauce than pasta so depending on your taste, you'll figure out what you need.

Time: 20 minutes

- 2 T unsalted butter
- 1/4 grated onion (using large holes on box grater -- be prepared for eye watering experience)
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (I couldn't find crushed; I used diced then pureed in food processor; hand held blender would work well too)
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 2 T coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil

1. Heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano, and 1/2 tsp salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar; increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and oil; season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Don't forget the Parmesan on top!


Rita said...

My kind of sauce; simple and fresh and so tasty. I have been trying to follow you but can't see anything on your blog to do this. Am I missing something?
Thank you for your kind visits at my place.

Julie M. said...

I really love a simple fresh tasty bowl of pasta and marinara. It's kind of like pizza to me in that I never get tired of it. Your recipe looks like a definitely keeper.

Stella said...

Hey Nirmala! You know, I don't have much of an appetite lately either. I think it's a summer thing-the heat and such...
Your tomato sauce sounds delicious though. I think canned tomatoes make some of the best sauces too for some reason?!
p.s. My cashew cream is an old vegan trick by the way. I think my post would be very boring to most vegans (smile)...

Katerina said...

I totally agree with you. I love pasta with a lot of sauce on it. The one you made looks very yummy.


I had something similar for dinner tonight! It's amazing how some of the simplest meals can be the best!

Chef Dennis said...

nothing like a nice fresh tomato sauce! and although some purists like fresh tomatoes, I find canned to be consistent and the best way to make favorite is San Marzano tomatoes from Italy, they are not so acidic.
thanks for sharing your recipe!

Bridgett said...

I love the simplicity of this dish. You can't beat that on a weeknight.

redmenace said...

I wish I wasn't hungry ALL the time! This looks perfect. I'm a big fan of Muir Glenn tomatoes too.

katiez said...

Love making a sauce like this - tastes so fresh. Hope you get your cravings back soon ;-))

Indie.Tea said...

Grated onions? Thats a really unique touch...I bet it helps with the quickness. This recipe is delicious, I'm sure...

Simply Life said...

oh this sauce looks great!