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Old 03-13-2008, 10:06 AM   #1
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Pomodoro Sauce (Italian Tomato Sauce)

Pomodoro (Italian for "Tomato") sauce is the mother sauce of about a half-dozen different Italian sauces. You can go from this recipe to any number of permutations on the standard American "spaghetti sauce", and it also makes a great base for old classical Italian sauces such as Puttanesca or Bolognese.

This is a crock pot recipe unless you have 4 hours to sit and babysit a stockpot full of sauce so it doesn't burn.

You will need:
6-8 cans diced tomatoes (or dice them yourself!)
1 tbsp crushed basil leaves
1 tbsp ground oregano
4 peeled carrots
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
half of a red onion, minced
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 bell pepper, small dice
1 butternut squash, small dice (no seeds!)
salt and fresh-ground pepper (just have some on hand)
1 can tomato paste

Ok, you've done your prep work and have your mise en place set up, right? The tomatoes are diced (or cans are open), the carrots are peeled and standing by, and your small-cut veggies are sitting on a tray in ramekins waiting for you. If not, stop reading and go prep your mise.

Right, toss the tomatoes, spices and carrots into the crock pot and turn her on to low heat. The carrots will absorb a lot of the acidity of the tomatoes so that you don't have to worry as much about pH balancing the sauce somewhere else on the plate when you finish it. About the spices, if you want to use fresh ones from the garden, double the amount and make sure you get a good, fine mince on it.

Now get out a great big fry pan and threaten your kids with it.

Now that you've got that accomplished, get it on some heat (medium-high) and heat up the olive oil so that it coats the pan. Throw in the garlic and onion and cook until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the pepper and squash and "sweat" them with a little water. Transfer all of this to the crock pot.

Turn the crock pot to "high" and go watch the Godfather series.

When you come back, tears in your eyes from the tragic ending of the 3rd movie, remove the carrots from the sauce and discard them, and add the tomato paste. It should take only one can to even out and thicken the sauce nicely. Salt and pepper to taste.

You can serve this sauce immediately over angel-hair pasta for Pasta Pomodoro, or you can ladle some of this sauce into a saucepan with cooked italian sausage and ground beef for a good meat sauce. Also goes well with a lightly breaded and fried chicken breast covered in parmesan cheese for some Chicken Parmesan.

You can also serve almost any wine with this sauce, depending on the meat compliment you choose for the sauce. By itself, a refreshing, cool white wine would go best. In a meat sauce? Try Coppola Merlot.

If I forgot something, tell me and I'll edit.

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Old 03-13-2008, 11:56 AM   #2
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Butternut squash? I haven't seen that used in tomato sauce before.
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:01 PM   #3
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your end rind of parmesano reggiano, let it cook in the sauce...then fish it out and toss it...adds great depth of flavor
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:48 PM   #4
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Butternut squash? I have to agree with Constance here - even in my old-school Italian cookbooks or from my old-school Italian friends (some direct from the old country), butternut squash is not an ingredient in Italian gravy. Where'd you find that ingredient?
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:53 PM   #5
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it's a new one to me as well, but the idea of squash to help with sweetness and texture is a good one.

thanks weeks. i'll have to try this.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:04 PM   #6
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Buckytom - the four carrots should MORE than handle the sweetness issue. And carrots don't "absorb" the acidity of the tomatoes, they release their sugars into the sauce while they cook. Removing them from the sauce & throwing them out is pointless. And the squash won't add much, if any, texture - it will be mush by the time the cooking is over.

To be honest, I'd love for Weeks to check in here & let us know where this recipe came from & why/how he thinks it's so authentic. I'm more than willing to stand corrected if he can give a legitimate source.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:17 PM   #7
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breezy, i don't think the recipe is a massively critical issue. having cried at godfather 3 is, but not the ingredients or authenticity.
for every family in italy there's a recipe for sugo, whether it's in a cookbook or not.

agreed about the carrots, though, on both sweetness and the absorption thing, but i'm reading it with a little literary license. absorb in the sense of counter acting. not physically absorbing it.

also, these tomatoes might be particularly acidic, needing more help.

i still like the idea of the squash for texture, especially in a more uniform, thinner sauce.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:21 PM   #8
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Breezy is absolutely right about the carrots. They don't neutralize acid, they add sugar which helps mask acid. You could also just add sugar.

Neither carrots nor sugar will increase the pH of the sauce, as sugar itself is mildly acidic.

Also, you don't use a base sauce when you make Bolognese.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
breezy, i don't think the recipe is a massively critical issue. having cried at godfather 3 is, but not the ingredients or authenticity.
for every family in italy there's a recipe for sugo, whether it's in a cookbook or not.
He seems to be presenting it as *the* recipe for pomodoro sauce, though. All the pomodoro sauce recipes I've seen are very simple - like this: Don Pomodoro Sauce: The Splendid Table Recipe Box
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
He seems to be presenting it as *the* recipe for pomodoro sauce, though.

funny, i didn't read that anywhere.




what's with the recipe assasination today? the guy posted a freakin' recipe which might be good.

how about a little appreciation for sharing it? geez!

jenny, i'm curious, do you do soemthing different than create a sauce around chopped meat for your bolognese? i mean, you'd add a lot of the same ingredients that create a sauce with the meat, thus the bolognese, right?
adding an already made basic sauce to browned beef and a few extra ingredients isn't that far of a strectch, imo.
there are "whiter" versions, made with wine and cream, but they're just different versions.

if there's one thing that i've learned about italians is that everyone has their own versions, their own take on things.
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