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Old 09-15-2008, 04:20 PM   #1
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My Last Attempt at Red Sauce

Hi Everyone,
This is my first post. Hopefully not my last! I've always wanted to learn to cook. The trouble is everytime I screw something up I've quit.

Anyways, I love pasta, especially with a light red sauce. In the cafeteria (yeah I know cafeterias aren’t suppose to be that good) of where I used to work. They made a pasta dish with a light red sauce. They'd mix in stuff I choose like broccoli or chicken or mushrooms. And basically Thursdays was my favorite day to eat because that day was pasta day!

Anyways, I don't work there anymore but I miss that pasta! I've tried to recreate it to no avail. I'm sure the basic part is to make the light red sauce.

One of my early attempts at learning to cook was to try to make that light red sauce. Well my last attempt it turned out extremely acidy. I actually hated it. I never took it up again. Today, I'm more determined than ever to learn to cook better despite hitting walls with my meager skill and talent.

So, I want to ask all of you for help! What are some easy tips for making a nice flavorful red sauce for pasta? Is there anything i can do to control the acid taste? Can I mix in sugar? Should I mix in sugar? I think someone mentioned to me at one point carrots will help. Or tomato paste. What do you guys recommend?

Thanks

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Old 09-15-2008, 04:34 PM   #2
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Okay - first off, when you say "light" red sauce, was it lighter in color? Like perhaps some milk, cream, or cheese may have been added? Because the lightness & acidity can be two different things.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:35 PM   #3
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First, you need to tell us exactly how you make your recipe i.e., ingredients and approximate amounts. This way we will have a better understanding of what you did.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf View Post
First, you need to tell us exactly how you make your recipe i.e., ingredients and approximate amounts. This way we will have a better understanding of what you did.
Hi Kitchenelf, To be honest with you my last attempt was more than two years ago! I started using Prego after that! But if memory serves me well I think I used canned crushed tomatoes likely one can, with chicken stock maybe one cup, garlic maybe a tablespoon, basil also a tablespoon and one carrot that I chopped up. I hope this helps. If not any way you can lead me to a nice easy recipe creating a nice flavorful sauce. I'm actually going to try again this week with fresh tomoatoes from my farmers market.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
Okay - first off, when you say "light" red sauce, was it lighter in color? Like perhaps some milk, cream, or cheese may have been added? Because the lightness & acidity can be two different things.
Lighter in color and thinner than your average marinara, but flavorful. I believe they may have used chicken stock to help make that sauce.

Any ideas? Thanks
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:46 PM   #5
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agree with above and also yes to cut the acid you can add sugar but becareful becuase alittel goes a long way.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:53 PM   #6
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Marv:

Try this one:

3 Tbsp EVOO
3 C chopped Onions
1 Tbsp Sugar
3 Tbsp Garlic - minced
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp dried Basil
1 1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Fennel Seed - crushed
1 tsp Pepper

2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

2 C Chicken Broth
3 28 oz cans Crushed Tomatoes

Saute Onion and Garlic in EVOO for four minutes. Add Sugar and seasonings and saute one minute. Add Balsamic Vinegar and Saute 30 seconds. Add Chicken Broth and Tomatoes and simmer, covered for 55 minutes over very low heat.

Let us know how it comes out. And WELCOME!

Dave
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:54 PM   #7
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you can sweeten your tomatoes by roasting them.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:55 PM   #8
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Here's the way I make my sauce using MOST of your ingredient.

Let's say you use 1 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes - I use San Marzetti (?? I think that's how you spell it).

First, slowly heat up some chopped garlic in your oil - maybe 1/4 cup oil to 1 TBS garlic. I use enough chopped garlic to plainly see in this so it may even be more than 1 TBS. Cooking will help make it not as strong. Once it's heated (and before it browns) add your tomatoes that you have already squished into pieces and the reserved juice from the can and squishing. Let this cook on medium to medium/high heat for about 30 minutes or so. You'll want to salt and add a bit of pepper. This will reduce a bit which is good.

Once this has heated remove from heat and add a fair amount of fresh, chopped basil (I simply chiffonade the basil). Add it while it is still hot and let it cool on your counter for about 30 minutes. The basil will heat up enough from the heat of the tomatoes.

NOW, when it's time to use the sauce I add about 6 or so kalamata olives to the skillet of sauce. Yes, I use a skillet because I want it to reduce even more. Once reduced even more I toss in my cooked angel hair and just coat and heat together.

It's basic and easy. The key is reducing. I think the type of tomatoes used is the key. A good tinned Italian tomato will be a bit sweeter and not so acidic. Some of the cheaper tomatoes ARE acidic. To correct that in the future you can add a pinch of baking soda or sugar. It may or may not help, unfortunately. Hunt's is a good brand to use if you can't find Italian.

Back to the recipe - Plate your pasta and top with some Parmesan cheese. That should do it. NOW, we also steamed veggies (broccoli, zucchini, whole green beans, squash) and added around the sides and it can easily be topped with a grilled/sauteed sliced chicken breast.
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:18 PM   #9
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hi Dave the Baker, want to try your sauce, but can you tell me what EVOO is, we dont have anything by that name here in South Africa. I also am not good at sauces, need to start experimenting ! thanks.
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Almamaud View Post
hi Dave the Baker, want to try your sauce, but can you tell me what EVOO is, we dont have anything by that name here in South Africa. I also am not good at sauces, need to start experimenting ! thanks.
Wow one thing I can answer! I believe it is Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
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