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ceejamon
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Ceejamon's Super-Simple Tomato Sauce

My appologies for not making any threads recently. I've been busy.

This isn't my "good" tomato sauce recipe, which is a bit involved and time consuming, but it's a great sauce in it's own right. It's leaps and bounds better than anything you'd get in a jar, and it's better than most of the stuff you'd find at a restaurant as well. I always do it in big batches for multiple meals, and the batch I'm making today is enough for: 1 pan of my lasagna (recipe thread coming later this week), sauce base for 2 pizzas, and chicken parmesan & pasta for several people. It keeps 1.5 weeks easily in the fridge, much longer in the freezer. Later this week, I'll post what all I use it for.

WIthout anything further, here's what you'll be needing:



2 large (28oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 tiny can of tomato paste
1 large onion or 2 small onions
1 large carrot or 2 small carrots
same amount of celery as carrot
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced (or equiv if you're lazy like me and use jarred stuff)
~ 1 tsp dried basil
~ 1 tsp dried parsley
~ 1 tsp dried oregano
~ 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup balsamic or sherry vinegar (I prefer the sherry, my wife prefers the Balsamic. Guess which one I used.)
1/2+ cup sugar
splash of wine
Salt & Pepper, Olive Oil

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:
Mix it up. I certainly do, I just kept it simple for recipe posting purposes. Capers, banana pepper, sun dried tomatoes. Lemon zest, other herbs, marsala wine.

Start by chopping up the veggies for a sweat. A little trick with carrots: after you wash & peel them, use the peeler to make little strips.



and then use your knife to chop them.



it's a helluva lot faster and they seem to sweat better. After that, chop up the rest of the veggies. I'm not worrying too much about getting them tiny, since I plan on using the stick blender on the finished product. Heat up a nice big pot over low heat, hit it with some olive oil, and toss in the onion, carrott, celery, and garlic.



You're going to sweat this over low heat for a good 15 - 20 minutes most likely. You want the carrots to be tender and the onions translucent. As soon as they start to sweat, add some salt and the basil.



Every five minutes, add another seasoning in this order: parsley, oregano, crushed red pepper. My only reasoning for doing it like this is because an old italian once lady told me it was "the right way" so I figured I'd listen.

After the veggies are done sweating, dump in the 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, the sugar, and the vinegar. Turn the heat up to medium.

(NOTE: if you're not planning on stick blending it smooth (in other words, you want to leave it chunky) you should strain most of the liquid from the canned tomatoes into a bowl. You'd add some of it back in later to get your desired consistency.)



Let the sauce heat through, which will take a few minutes. When it's hot, add the wine and tomato paste. Let it cook for at least another 10 minutes. Taste and add salt, sugar, and black pepper as needed. Sometimes I end up with a full cup of sugar in my sauce, depending on how strong the onions are.



I transfer the pot to the sink and stick blend it until there are no chucks. Then I blend it some more.



That's it. Simple and versatile. I'll post pics of what I use it for in the coming week or so, along with recipes.



Ceejamon's Recipes:

Ceeejamon's Chevre Filled Chicken Breasts w/ Mushrooms and a Basil Lemon Butter Sauce
Ceejamon's Turkey Burgers AKA The Thread that Nobody Noticed
Ceejamon's Lasagna of DOOM
Ceejamon's Super Simple Tomato Sauce
Ceejamon's Enchilada Casserole
Ceejamon's Pasta w/ Creamy Salmon Sauce
Ceejamon's White Chocolate & Caramel Cheesecake
Ceejamon's Parmesan Pork Chops and Risotto
Ceejamon's Easy Creme Brulee
4 Cheese Baked Macaroni (no pics, but maahes made it and posted some)
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Last edited by ceejamon; 03-15-2007 at 08:22 PM..
Old 08-14-2006, 10:02 AM ceejamon is offline  
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brouski
 
A tomato sauce without chunks is like a day without sunshine.

As soon as I get up the nerve I'm gonna try this recipe. Thanks man.
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Last edited by brouski; 08-14-2006 at 01:28 PM..
Old 08-14-2006, 11:35 AM brouski is offline  
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ceejamon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brouski
A tomato sauce without chunks is like a day without sunshine.

As soon as I get up the nerve I'm gonna try this recipie. Thanks man.

If I were using it as a sauce over pasta, I would have to agree. But I had lasagna and pizza in mind, so I gave it a beat down.
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Old 08-14-2006, 11:42 AM ceejamon is offline  
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Man.. as always... it looks delicious!
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:06 PM Gene Simmons is offline  
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This looks I can see myself using it as a base for all kinds of stuff.

By the way, whatever happened to those cooking videos you were talking about, Ceej?
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:28 PM domisi is offline  
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Nice
Old 08-14-2006, 05:56 PM Andy is offline  
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I would have never thought of carrots in a tomato sauce, but the way you've used them, they're so blended in no one would even notice.

What kind of wine do you use? Red, white, or just whatever you have on hand?

As always, you do good threads, CJ.
Old 08-14-2006, 07:48 PM Huipe is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huipe
I would have never thought of carrots in a tomato sauce, but the way you've used them, they're so blended in no one would even notice.

What kind of wine do you use? Red, white, or just whatever you have on hand?

As always, you do good threads, CJ.

Carrots, celery, & onions are a traditional french/italian base for sauces like this. Mere poix or something like that. Some people substitute green peppers for the celery though, since it makes a way different flavor.
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:49 PM [bu] d'artagnan is offline  
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ceejamon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domisi
This looks I can see myself using it as a base for all kinds of stuff.

By the way, whatever happened to those cooking videos you were talking about, Ceej?

Coming this fall, actually. I was going to have some help, but they turned out to be unreliable, so I've had to learn to do video editing on my own.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Huipe
I would have never thought of carrots in a tomato sauce, but the way you've used them, they're so blended in no one would even notice.

What kind of wine do you use? Red, white, or just whatever you have on hand?

As always, you do good threads, CJ.

Thanks. Like d'artagnan said, a 2:1:1 ratio of onions, carrot, and celery is called a mirepoix, named after the town of the same name in the Her valley in southern France. It's the traditional French combination of aromatics, and it's pretty standard in Italian cuisine as well. My wife hates carrots, so I hide them in sauces like this, and she never has a clue.

As for wine, I use a splash of whatever I'm drinking that night. It's added at the end, which is about the time I'm opening it up and pouring anyways. If I'm not drinking wine with the meal or if I'm just making the sauce ahead of time, I use a splash of Marsala which I keep around for cooking. Wine is NOT optional, by the way. It really brings out the flavors in the veggies and makes them shine.

-------------------------------------

Example #1

Last night, my wife and I both had to work late, so lasagna was out. We boiled some store-bought tortellini, cooked 2 chicken breasts in a skillet, and warmed up some sauce. In minutes, we had a perfectly decent meal.

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Old 08-15-2006, 06:53 AM ceejamon is offline  
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:17 AM brouski is offline  
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I believe the carrots also help cut the acidity of the tomatoes, which can cause heartburn for some people.
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Old 08-15-2006, 10:11 AM mserrino is offline  
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wow that's the simple sauce? i would LOVE to see a write up on how involved the real sauce is. looks awesome, i'll have to try it tonight or tomorrow.
Old 08-15-2006, 10:32 AM odecom5 is offline  
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Man I love food threads. Looks delicious. Other optional ingredients that are good in sauce:
Mushrooms
roasted garlic
lemon zest

Thankfully my wife makes all the sauces and "indoor" food.
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Old 08-15-2006, 04:14 PM hhookk is offline  
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ceejamon
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Example #2

- Breaded some chicken breasts with egg and Japanese bread crumbs (Panko), herbes de provence, and parmesan
- Baked 'em
- Heated up some sauce, added some cream and ricotta to make it a creamy tomato sauce
- Boiled some pasta.
- Make some salad

It's a bastardized chicken parmesan. The pic didn't come out that great, but I assure you it was hella tasty:

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Old 08-16-2006, 07:13 AM ceejamon is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceejamon
Example #2

- Breaded some chicken breasts with egg and Japanese bread crumbs (Panko), herbes de provence, and parmesan
- Baked 'em
- Heated up some sauce, added some cream and ricotta to make it a creamy tomato sauce
- Boiled some pasta.
- Make some salad

It's a bastardized chicken parmesan. The pic didn't come out that great, but I assure you it was hella tasty:


Good lord Ceej... Teach me what you know. That food look's f'n delicious. Did you ever go to a school for food? Culinary Arts, or whatever?
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