March 02, 2011

Homemade tomato sauce

I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to cooking. I'm one of those people who thinks about what they want to make for dinner pretty much all day. I also obsessively read food blogs, recipes and cookbooks, so I'm always excited about new things to try. Mike also loves to cook, but he says he's not as creative when it comes to thinking up what to make. So to compromise, I usually text him before I come home with what I want to make and he starts making it. Then I come home and put on the finishing touches. I know, it's a little bit controlling, right? Sometimes he just makes the whole dinner and that's nice as well.

The best part of our arrangement is coming home and smelling fresh tomato sauce cooking away on the stove. We stopped buying sauce from a jar awhile back because of the sodium content. Now we make our own sauce with canned tomatoes. I love coming home to a huge plate of pasta and sauce after a long day. I just couldn't live without carbs.

Tomato sauce

Basic homemade tomato sauce

1 can of whole tomatoes (no salt added)
1/2 can of tomato paste
Pinch of sugar, salt, pepper, plus spices to taste (basil. sage, oregano, thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper sauce)
1 diced onion and shallot
1-2 cloves garlic
Splash of red wine
Vegetables: kale, tomato, zucchini

Directions:

1. Heat a pot with oil, then add diced onions, shallots and garlic and sauté for a few minutes.
2. Pour in the red wine until just covering onions and let the wine boil off for a few minutes.
3. Throw in the kale, tomatoes and veggies and saute for a few minutes.
4. Add the can of tomatoes and spices, then mash the tomatoes into a pulp.
5. Add the half can of tomato paste and stir in. Add pinches of sugar the until tartness of tomatoes is corrected (about 2-3 pinches).
6. Set on low heat and stir occasionally for 50 minutes.

Pasta and tomato sauce is a basic, tasty meal that can be dressed up in many ways. For a quick eggplant parmesan, slice up an eggplant and coat the slices in oil and then add breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Roast the slices in the oven for about 30 minutes. Then top the pasta and sauce with the eggplant:

Eggplant Parmigano

Or add various toppings, such as shrimp, feta cheese, pesto or meatballs:

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