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Old 01-02-2017, 10:16 AM   #21
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I keep a box of Black Box Cab around. It will keep for a month or more. It's also a drinkable red.

It doesn't go bad around my house.
...and when it's empty, you can stick a candle in it and use it as a table decoration.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:21 AM   #22
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Lol, Andy.



But I think those are for flowers.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:35 AM   #23
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I used to like putting candles in the Mateus wine bottles. The flat bottle was cute.

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Old 01-02-2017, 02:13 PM   #24
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This is my chef friend Lorenzo's tomato sauce recipe:

Get 450g cans of best plum tomatoes.
Per can, put in 50g of soffritto of onions and carrots, 1/2 each, then fry off in enough good olive oil to spread the soffritto over the base of the pan, and soften until the onions are transparent and the carrots are cooked. Next add chopped garlic to your taste and soften that, then add the tomatoes, and squish them up as they cook. No wine. A small pinch of oregano, but not too much as it will give an edge of bitterness. Let the sauce simmer on a gentle 'gloop' for about an hour. This is a tomato sauce, so no meat of any kind. It's a base sauce for Bolognese or other ragùs, which are very different. It should turn out versatile enough to use with most types of pasta, on fish dishes, as a base sauce for chicken dishes and other poultry.

By the way - Happy New Year! The best of everything to you all

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Old 01-02-2017, 02:17 PM   #25
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Oops - I forgot to say that Lorenzo's sauce also goes with risotto alla pescatora, and certain other risotto dishes as well, such as mushroom risotto.

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Old 01-02-2017, 02:18 PM   #26
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Sounds great but OP wants to use already prepared canned Tomato sauce.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:12 PM   #27
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The one thing I do when short on groceries, is to add one cup of Better Than Bullion Beef broth to the can along with some of the suggestions already made. I also will cook the pasta with some of the BTB in the cooking water. I find that the meat flavor enriches the sauce.
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:11 AM   #28
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I seem to have completely misunderstood - here in Italy tomato sauce is such a staple in that it's used for hundreds of dishes, from pizza to polenta and we usually make our own, even if we live in town. It's one of those things everyone has in the storecupboard, matter of routine. However, if it has meat in it, it's not tomato sauce any more, and we never put wine in our tomato sauce here: because it's the base sauce for so many dishes, the preference is to have your basic tomato sauce. In winter I like tomato sauce with polenta (and an Italian sausage or so). Over there you don't seem to use tomato sauce in so many ways. Anyway, at the end of the day it's what grabs you that matters. There are many recipes that are, let's say, 'standard'. After that you do whatever you want and enjoy it!

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Old 01-03-2017, 09:37 AM   #29
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I seem to have completely misunderstood - here in Italy tomato sauce is such a staple in that it's used for hundreds of dishes, from pizza to polenta and we usually make our own, even if we live in town. It's one of those things everyone has in the storecupboard, matter of routine. However, if it has meat in it, it's not tomato sauce any more, and we never put wine in our tomato sauce here: because it's the base sauce for so many dishes, the preference is to have your basic tomato sauce. In winter I like tomato sauce with polenta (and an Italian sausage or so). Over there you don't seem to use tomato sauce in so many ways. Anyway, at the end of the day it's what grabs you that matters. There are many recipes that are, let's say, 'standard'. After that you do whatever you want and enjoy it!
We do use tomato sauce in many different ways. The OP was asking how to make spaghetti sauce using a can of tomato sauce. Of course, there are many different tomato-based pasta sauces, so people mentioned their variations, including meat and wine. Many of us start with canned tomato sauce, though, while you apparently start with canned tomatoes.

But don't make the mistake of thinking that all 330 million of us do everything the same way
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:10 PM   #30
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No, no, no, - absolutely not. One thing that fascinates me about food is how dishes originating from one country can transmogrify quite substantially. Italy now recognises that Italo-American dishes are highly acceptable and represent the contribution that Italian immigrants have made to American tradition. I would love to be able to do a study on it. The Brits love the Anglo- Italian community in the UK, and I know it's the same in the USA. I'm simply noticing the differences with great interest. By the way, as a matter of culinary history, the Brits, at the end of the British Empire, brought back the 'traditional' dishes of India and China - but they were nothing like the traditional dishes of those countries. Now, the opposite is true. I was merely making comparisons.

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Old 01-03-2017, 12:33 PM   #31
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No, no, no, - absolutely not... I was merely making comparisons.
Well, you said you thought we don't use tomato sauce in as many ways as Italians do. I think that's mistaken.
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:29 PM   #32
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Thank you for putting me right. Of course it's mistaken. I'm probably too obsessed with Italian food - of course I know there are hundreds of ways you use toms, as we call them, in the US. Every time you talk about other now traditional dishes in the US, i.e. Mexican style dishes, It hits me how much you do use them probably more than we do here in Italy - after all, tomatoes came back to Europe from the Mexican/American area with the Spaniards. The way you eat, the way you shop for food, the things you cook, all fascinate me. We all get it wrong now and again.

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Old 01-03-2017, 02:46 PM   #33
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Thank you for putting me right. Of course it's mistaken. I'm probably too obsessed with Italian food - of course I know there are hundreds of ways you use toms, as we call them, in the US. Every time you talk about other now traditional dishes in the US, i.e. Mexican style dishes, It hits me how much you do use them probably more than we do here in Italy - after all, tomatoes came back to Europe from the Mexican/American area with the Spaniards. The way you eat, the way you shop for food, the things you cook, all fascinate me. We all get it wrong now and again.
I'm fascinated by food history and migration, too. And by the variety of dishes that can be made with the same set of simple ingredients, just by combining and seasoning them differently. There's always something new to learn
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:53 PM   #34
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Start by sautéing some diced onion and minced garlic in olive oil until it's softened. Then add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste and continue to sauté while stirring until the paste darkens in color. Add the canned tomato, some basil, salt and pepper and a splash or two of wine...
That splash or two of wine is the most important part!

Andy, my recipe is much like yours. In addition to what you mentioned, I also like to add a teaspoon of oregano and just a half teaspoon of ground fennel seed in the sauce. Although it sounds just a little strange, there's something about that fennel seed I really like.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:24 PM   #35
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That splash or two of wine is the most important part!



Andy, my recipe is much like yours. In addition to what you mentioned, I also like to add a teaspoon of oregano and just a half teaspoon of ground fennel seed in the sauce. Although it sounds just a little strange, there's something about that fennel seed I really like.

Nothing strange at all. Must have fennel seed in my sauce too. Sometimes I grind it, other times I just throw the whole seeds into the sauce early on.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:20 AM   #36
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i also, on occasion, will throw fennel seed in as well . Kinda gives that hint of sausage, without the sausage taste. Problem is, my wife hates fennel, so I have to sneak it in there.

For me personally, I prefer to start with the canned tomatoes, as opposed to the canned tomato sauce. I feel that when starting with the sauce, it kinda always steers you in a certain direction, where as the plain tomatoes offer a blank canvas to start with, allowing any direction you want.

That being said, in a pinch, if thats what I had on hand, I'd use it and have used it in the past.

Usually, in both cases, Ill start with some onion, garlic in Olive oil, occasionally some butter too. I feel the butter kinda fills it out a bit more, and enhances the sauces ability to bind to the pasta. Usually a Tbs or two of Tomato paste, but not always. Some oregano, S&P. At this point I may add sliced mushrooms ( or not), A dab of wine ( or not), a pinch of Fennel ( or not) a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes ( or not) then whatever tomato product I'm going to use goes in ( canned whole tomatoes, diced tomatoes, or whatever). I always have fresh basil growing in the aquaponic garden, so I like to add some last minute, to give it that fresh, summery feel, even in the dead of winter. Usually its a 10 minute process to get it to this point. If in a rush, Ill eat it as is. if not, ill let it do its thing on the stove for an hour or more. Sometimes I like it thicker, with chunks of tomato, other times i prefer a smoother, saucier variety. Some times Ill grate carrots and celery finely, and kinda caramelize them with the onions in the beginning. Or, toss in some peppers ( not much, cause a little goes a long way). I like the flavor or peppers, but not biting into a big piece.

During the summer, I grow a decent amount of tomatoes and then skin, seed and mill them. Making almost a fresh puree. Then freeze them for future use. That is usually the tomato product I use most in my sauces. But my puree taste a lot fresher than the purees you get in the can.
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:21 AM   #37
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That splash or two of wine is the most important part!

Andy, my recipe is much like yours. In addition to what you mentioned, I also like to add a teaspoon of oregano and just a half teaspoon of ground fennel seed in the sauce. Although it sounds just a little strange, there's something about that fennel seed I really like.
I keep a bottle of vermouth for those occasions when I don't have a bottle of wine open. Wine is important in tomato dishes.

I also sometimes add oregano along with the basil. Not a fan of fennel.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:41 PM   #38
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The plain tomato sauce I buy has no herbs or spices. Just tomato and salt and pepper. I will look at the ingredient list next time. But it tastes like plain tomato. Basically a blank palette.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:53 PM   #39
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The term "tomato sauce" is misleading as it can refer to pasta sauce or plain canned tomato. I try to stick with "canned tomato" and "pasta sauce" to be less ambiguous.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:32 PM   #40
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...For me personally, I prefer to start with the canned tomatoes, as opposed to the canned tomato sauce...
Same here, larry. When the grocery store has canned tomato products I like to stock up. I used to keep a nice selection running the gamut from tomato sauce to whole plums. Now, I buy mostly whole, with a few cans of diced. All plain tomato, no salt/pepper/sugar at all. My thinking is that I can always turn the whole 'maters into puree, crushed, diced...but I can't make any of those things whole.

Sometimes I don't need the entire 29 oz worth of tomatoes. I don't buy 15 ounce ones (on sale, big can costs less than a small one), but instead use just 1/2 the can and freeze the other half. Again, I'm cheap.
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