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Old 05-22-2013, 02:15 PM   #1
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Homemade Pasta Sauce

I made a quick recipe. I enjoy it but it can be better.

Can I have some constructive criticism and suggestions

1 cup tomato marinara sauce
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup red wine
4 tablespoon parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon black pepper

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Old 05-22-2013, 03:03 PM   #2
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Cream cheese?

Also how are you making it?

I might consider adding some really good olive oil but not both oil and butter.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:19 PM   #3
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First, welcome to DC!

I don't mean any offense, but by including a "cup of tomato marinara sauce", you sort of lose the "homemade" element. I've also never heard of adding cream cheese to a pasta sauce, but I'm sure it would taste good.

There are a thousand recipes out there for a quick pasta sauce. Here's one I throw together from pantry ingredients.

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup wine (red or white doesn't matter; I use leftovers.)
  • 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes, or 5-6 roma tomatoes, rough chopped
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves, sliced in a fine chiffonade
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • a pinch of sugar (if you are using fresh tomatoes, you can omit)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
  1. Saute the onion in the olive oil until softened. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Don't let it burn.
  2. Add the wine and let most of the alcohol evaporate off.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Toss with your favorite pasta.
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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Cream cheese... interesting.
When I was a little tyke I remember a lot of Friday night dinners with my uncle and aunt. Two items always on the menu were fried perch and tiny shells. The shells always had this smooth tomato sauce that was slightly orange in color, like the color of tomato soup with cream added. You have me wondering here if they added cream cheese to whatever sauce they whipped up, or even simply cream. And the taste was quite unique, too. Not like the spaghetti sauce I was used to.

This needs to be experimented with. Thanks for the idea.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:10 AM   #5
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i'm going to have to try that cream cheese thing. sounds like it might be good in a tomato/alfredo sauce.

i've tried the butter and olive oil combo with good results. butter to sweat onions before going in the sauce, and good extra virgin olive oil at the end to finish. you get the best of both worlds.

but yeah, i agree with steve about calling it homemade if you didn't start with fresh or canned tomatoes. you would more accurately call it doctored marinara sauce, imo.

thanks for the idea, though, s-scape.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:20 AM   #6
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Steve's sauce sound Italian to me but I never heard of sauce with cream cheese or using pre made sauce in a home made one????
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:25 AM   #7
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The addition of a little (~20% by volume) cream cheese or ricotta can enhance pesto genovese.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
The addition of a little (~20% by volume) cream cheese or ricotta can enhance pesto genovese.
ARGH
You cannot tell things like this Justplainbill, with Italian gluttons lurking around... Cream cheese in the pesto, what a blasphemy

I'm joking obviously, maybe I'll try this option with my next pesto. By cream cheese do you mean, for example, a good old Philadelphia Kraft cheese?

shadowscape, me too I would drop the butter and go only for olive oil, good quality.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:56 AM   #9
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Lol lurking Luca
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:25 AM   #10
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ARGH
You cannot tell things like this Justplainbill, with Italian gluttons lurking around... Cream cheese in the pesto, what a blasphemy

I'm joking obviously, maybe I'll try this option with my next pesto. By cream cheese do you mean, for example, a good old Philadelphia Kraft cheese?

shadowscape, me too I would drop the butter and go only for olive oil, good quality.
Good to hear from you Luca. Used to eat that concoction a lot when I frequented the Pisa - Livorno area. Kraft's Philadelphia works fine and a dry ricotta is also ok.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:30 AM   #11
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Hello and first of all, welcome aboard,
I would go with either a creamy ( maybe mascapone or creme fraishe), herby, peppery sauce OR a tomato, basil, onion and garlic one but for me, not all together.
Very much a personal thing of course but bravely for your first post, you did ask for suggestions.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:46 AM   #12
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The addition of a little (~20% by volume) cream cheese or ricotta can enhance pesto genovese.
Cream in pesto seems like a NY NJ thing. I had never heard of it before ....
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:48 AM   #13
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Good to hear from you Luca. Used to eat that concoction a lot when I frequented the Pisa - Livorno area. Kraft's Philadelphia works fine and a dry ricotta is also ok.
You purists can always make your own quagliata fresco -
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:48 AM   #14
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Not knowing what is in the marinara sauce may make any suggestions moot but I'd be adding more herbs like oregano and adding more garlic and maybe some onion.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:50 AM   #15
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Lol lurking Luca


Quote:
Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
Good to hear from you Luca. Used to eat that concoction a lot when I frequented the Pisa - Livorno area. Kraft's Philadelphia works fine and a dry ricotta is also ok.
It's a pleasure to be back here, justplainbill
Now that I think about it, maybe I ate something like that in a long gone past, some sort of creamy pesto in some northern Italy town. I will surely try it, thanks.

shadowscape,
apart from using only oil and no butter, consider trying various kinds of tomato-based sauces. I usually start with a soffritto, which is sautéed onions OR onions + carrots + celery OR garlic + carrots + celery OR further variations of these ingredients (it depends on what sauce you're doing: just tomato, tomato and meat, tomato and fish, no tomato, sauce for pasta, for risotto and so on and on and on). Then I add other ingredients, depending of what I have in my larder and how I feel. Ingredients like herbs (mainly dried oregano, fresh parsley, fresh basil), wine or spirits, spices (mainly chilli powder, tabasco, pepper), and those things which I use as taste enhancers (mainly ground capers, minced anchovies, Marmite, ground olives).

To tell the truth, I've never been systematic in my approach to sauces, but this must come to an end. In the next weeks I'm gonna tackle this issue with the utmost scientific precision
Well, I'll try...
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:20 AM   #16
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Marmite? How about Maggi?
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:24 AM   #17
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Marmite? How about Maggi?
I never tried it, I use Marmite to feel like a strange hybrid between a pasta-eater and a true Briton.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:22 PM   #18
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The cream cheese sounds interesting and is probably good. I might add some onion and/or garlic. Marinara is a sauce already that you are building. It appears that the end sauce is about 1-1/2 cups. My husband would ask "Where is yours?"
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:17 PM   #19
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I never tried it, I use Marmite to feel like a strange hybrid between a pasta-eater and a true Briton.
Vegemite is far nicer than Marmite...imho
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:43 PM   #20
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Id ditch the cream cheese and replace it with heavy cream.
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