Best Tomato Sauce Ever
I have yet to contribute to this forum, I cook for a living so I thought it was about time.
Here is a relatively easy recipe for a Tomato sauce, not like marinara, it can be called a Tomato Concasse, which is what it is. This is my recipe, but it's kind of a classic with many chefs having their own variation. It can be used with pasta, topped on fish/seafood, chicken, as a dip/condiment or even used on toasted bread like bruschetta. It can be served hot or cold. Keeps in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week or frozen (although not the best idea since it looses it "fresh" taste.
3 lbs. Tomato (can be any variety, as long as they are meaty and ripe, not too ripe)
1 tbsp Garlic Cloves, sliced thin like in Goodfellas.
1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, taken off the stem, but no real reason to chop it finer.
1/2 cup White Wine, doesn't matter what kind, I use a pinot grigio cause thats what I like and have around. Any kind of sauce containing tomatoes needs alcohol to bring out the best flavors, keep that in mind if you want to ommit this ingredient.
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, my current favorite is My Brothers (it's a brand)
1 Lemon, zest it and juice it throw the rest in the trash.
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Get a pot of water boiling, big enough for all the tomatoes, must be boiling like a mutha. Score the tomatoes skin, I do it all the way around in a X pattern from the stem, don't go deeper than the skin, it you miss a section it doesn't matter, it's more important to not go further than the skin (this can be difficult unless you have good knife skills). Razor blade works great for this if your knives are dull, which most home knives are. Get a pot of ice cold water ready that will fit all the tomatoes. Ice cold means there should be ice in there, not tap water cold, ICE cold, very important. Put all the tomatoes in the boiling water, move them around, when the skin starts to slide off the meat pull them out and into the ice water. This will take a few seconds, maybe longer, but not much longer. Let the tomatoes sit there for 10 minutes, move them around a little during this time. You want them cold, just because they are cold on the outside doesn't mean they cooled down all the way on the inside, wait the 10 minutes. Take the tomatoes out of the water and peel the skin off, it should be super easy, if not, back in the hot water they go for a few more seconds, than repeat cool down. Once they are peeled, dice then, they don't have to be perfect, just large dice, don't smash them while your doing it either, be gentle. Then you want to remove all the excess juice and seeds that are present, most should have came out when you diced them. Toss the tomatoes in a colander or strainer gently to get them as seed and juice free as possible. Now you are done with the hard part, even though it reads long it is really easy, there are just some important steps to follow. If your tomatoes suck, everything else can't help them, keep that in mind.
Now turn the oven on 400 degree F, wait until it's up to temp. Get a large casserole or shallow pan, throw everything in there and mix it around a little. You want a single thin layer, no stacking, just everything flat in the pan. Sprinkle just a little bit of salt and grind some pepper over the top. Put it in the oven. I'm not going to tell you a specific time it need to be in there, lots of variables that could be going on that change the cook time dramaticly. What you want to look for is the top of the tomatoes to start to brown, some edges can even be getting near black (just don't burn it all). Your roasting, so you want some nice color. I'd start checking in 10 minutes, maybe 5 minutes after that, and them you should start to see either a finished product or major progress, if not it's time to see if your oven is truely at 400 degrees. When done, pull it out and let it cool, to room temperature is fine, no need to get it fridge cold.
Now I usually strain it, a lot of juices come out, plus the wine, oil and lemon. I recommend you do the same, save the juice though. The tomatoes could be used right away, you'll see chunks of tomato and slivers of garlic, hotness, taste it to check the seasoning though, it will probably need more salt and pepper is something that is personal preferance. You could also blend the tomatoes to make a sort of smooth tomato sauce (it will most likely be pink), if it's too thick add that juice that you saved until the right consistency is reached. Add too much juice and you could serve it as a hot or cold soup, good stuff!
And there you go, if you did a semi decent job I guarantee it will be awesome. You should be able to identify lemon, thyme, garlic (though a mild flavor) and tomato on your palate with ease. I do private dinners for foodies that eat all over the country and world and they all love it. It's a simple classic preparation that anyone can do. Now go cook something!
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Last edited by Dr. D; 09-01-2007 at 07:37 PM.