Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tomato Sauce and What it Became

I grew up in an omni household, but not one that ate the Standard American Diet (SAD). My father rejected all things convenience food (though my mom was able to sneak in Rice-a-Roni type things) and insisted on having at least one fresh (not canned, not frozen) lightly cooked vegetable at dinner every night. We also ate tofu on a regular basis, only we called it "bean curd" and even my brother's guy friends got all excited if they were over for dinner on bean curd night. It was certainly not your average household, but it set me up well for vegetarianism. One thing that we made at home probably at least once a week was a big vat of Tomato Sauce. I knew how to make the sauce before I was a teenager and would often be assigned the task. We never measured anything, just dumped it what looked right. Now as an adult I'm like "pfft whatever" most of the time. If I'm making spaghetti in tomato sauce, then it's because I'm feeling lazy and would rather just open a jar of sauce than make it from scratch. Tonight's dinner, however, was rather convenience-foody for us, so I decided to make the sauce from scratch. It's really pretty simple, and I tried to measure as I go so this could be replicated by other people who want to make really easy tomato sauce at home. My favorite canned tomatoes for the task are Muir Glen Organics. They are really delicious and fresh tasting. They aren't cheap though, so I try to stock up when they're on sale. (They also make jarred tomato sauces, but I don't really like them, oddly)

"Oh hey Megan, don't you think you should have taken the picture before you started using the sauce?"

Tomato Sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. In a 3 quart saucepan, heat the oil and garlic over medium-low heat until the garlic starts to sizzle and becomes fragrant. (DO NOT let the garlic brown! It will be bitter and you'll have to wash your pan and start over)

2. Add everything else. (Didn't I say easy?) Simmer over medium heat for about 45 minutes to an hour. Use, however you want to use it. If you like a smoother sauce, either use 2 cans of crushed tomatoes or puree it a bit with your immersion blender.

I used it in this:
Pizza baked ziti!! It's a pound of pasta, the tomato sauce, a batch of tofu-ricotta, a block of Follow Your Heart Mozzarella, and a package of Veggie-Pepperoni. It was also supposed to have roasted red peppers but I couldn't get the jar open. Now if I were making this for JUST ME and not the boy as well, it would also have mushrooms, olives, and artichoke hearts. Mmm pizza toppings in ziti.


Jeni Treehugger said...

That photo caption cracked me up!
Your sauce looks delicious as does the pizza baked ziti!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Oh hell to the yeah! That looks so frickin good.

Elilai said...

I have never tried follow your heart cheeses. Do you like them?