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Old 07-09-2011, 11:17 AM   #1
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Help With Spaghetti Suace

I tried to make my own spaghetti sauce. I chopped and blended some tomatoes in the blender and then simmered them for about an hour. Instead of tomato sauce I ended up with what looked like shredded tomato skins. Did I just not cook it long enough?

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Old 07-09-2011, 11:57 AM   #2
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You could use a food mill, if you had one.



If not, you need to peel the tomatoes. Cut a small X in the bottom of each tomato and drop them into boiling water for about 1 minutes Remove them from the water and shock them with ice water. Once they have cooled completely, simply remove the skin with your fingers.
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:19 PM   #3
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Fresh tomatoes aren't the best tomato to use to make spaghetti sauce. Canned, whole tomatoes give you a better and more consistent product for making sauce. They are sweeter and have more flavor than most fresh tomatoes. Even the experts on the Food Network, Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen generally agree on this one.

But if you use fresh tomatoes, Roma tomatoes are the best, and as Sir_Loin_of_Beef pointed out, you need to blanche them and remove their skin before processing them into sauce.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:03 PM   #4
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that's interesting. I wonder where "the experts on the Food Network, Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen" think those tomatoes in the can come from.... hmmmm.

to make good homemade sauce you need good tomatoes. the wooden grocery store variety just don't fit the bill. frankly I would not waste the time and effort if that's all that is available.

get some good local vine ripe tomatoes - and not all tomatoes taste the same - so get a few, chop 'em up and taste them before going overboard.

the canned tomatoes, crushed, diced, whole, sliced, whatever - usually have some salt, bunches of preservatives and other odd chemicals for some such reasons. those certainly 'change the flavor' - frankly I prefer to start with a tomato and work up from there.

one hour is not much in terms of cooking down tomatoes. it does depend very much on how much water was in the tomatoes to start with - which is why Romas are popular for sauce/paste - lots of meaty bits, not too much water.... takes me 3-4 hrs to cook down my garden tomatoes.

you can scald&peel them, de-seed them, whatever - I don't do any of that - quarter, season, cook down, re-season, then I use either a stick blender or run it thru a large hole strainer if I dis-want the seeds and skin bits. a food mill is handy if you have one.

homemade sauce from fresh tomatoes is light years ahead of starting with canned - depending on one's taste, of course....
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcSaute View Post
that's interesting. I wonder where "the experts on the Food Network, Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen" think those tomatoes in the can come from.... hmmmm... homemade sauce from fresh tomatoes is light years ahead of starting with canned - depending on one's taste, of course....
Canned tomatoes come from a specific variety grown to become canned, and are picked at the height of their flavor from their own farmers, rather than whenever the average grower has time to pick them. It doesn't take much forethought to realize that specialty farms grow a different product than an independent farmer.

And reading the label, you will see that some canners only add a minimal amount of salt... which is going into most sauce pots anyway, but some cans are "Added Salt Free." I prefer the organic variety with no additives.

Homemade sauce is only as good as the tomatoes themselves, which are seldom found in the average supermarket or even farmer's produce stand, because they are often picked too early and haven't developed their full flavor, even so-called vine-ripened. That means that the best fresh tomatoes are grown in your own garden... if you have one.

And the biggest advantage is being able to make good sauce year-round... even in the dead of winter.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:51 PM   #6
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Your right about that, Selkie; they are best from the garden. There is quite a difference. I do miss my vegetable garden but I can't see me trying to grow one on our boat!
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:08 PM   #7
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Have you seen those "Topsy Turvy" Tomato... things advertised on TV that hang upside down? If they work... they could work on a boat. But I've never tried one.
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:42 PM   #8
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Have you seen those "Topsy Turvy" Tomato... things advertised on TV that hang upside down? If they work... they could work on a boat. But I've never tried one.
Apparently they do work but I could just see the tomatoes dropping off when going on a cruise. I do have my fresh herbs though.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Have you seen those "Topsy Turvy" Tomato... things advertised on TV that hang upside down? If they work... they could work on a boat. But I've never tried one.

We use one every year now. Gave up on a vegetable garden as the critters were enjoying the pre-harvest bounty before we could. Using the topsy-turvy above the ground saves the tomatoes for us. But you should have dozens for a decent harvest.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:56 PM   #10
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I hate to say it, but I chime in with those who say that most of the time, canned tomatoes are the way to go for the long-cooked type of tomato sauce. Grocery store tomatoes really lack in flavor, but even home grown require a lot of work to not turn into a watery mess if you're a beginner. If you insist on "fresh" tomatoes (I don't see where you're from, but here it will still be another month before anything fresh appears, in grocery stores fresh simply means it isn't frozen or canned, but they are mostly from south of the border, picked green). But as someone already said, you need to peel the tomatoes. When my little crop comes in, I roast them -- that is to say, halve and seed them. The seeds go into a seive and I drain the liquid from them to use as juice or addition to soups. Then I put the tomato halves on a baking sheet along with some peppers (we like spicy food), sliced onions, whole garlic cloves, S&P, and a sprinkling of olive oil. 350 for about an hour, then through a food mill. If I have fresh basil & oregano, I chop it and stir it in at this point. Then I freeze. The idea is to sort of dry out the tomatoes, peppers and onions to concentrate the flavors.
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