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Old 01-16-2006, 09:12 PM   #1
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You say tomato sauce, I say tomatoe sauce, but is it really all the same?

Hi all,

I made some spaghetti with seafood sauce yesterday using a store-bought can of tomatoe sauce and I was very dissapointed because despite all the little crazy delicious herbs I put in, it still tasted ... well, like that cheap store-bought tomatoe sauce.

Should I try making the sauce myself next time or are there better tasting alternatives in the world of tomatoe sauces?

Great thanks!

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Old 01-16-2006, 09:17 PM   #2
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By all means, try making your own. Tomato sauce is easy to make and there are so many ways to make it. There are raw sauces, cooked sauces, ones that cook a long time, others that only cook a few minutes, some that have tons of ingredients, others that just have a handful. Try making your own. it will be better than any store bought stuff for sure.
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:18 PM   #3
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Some of the canned ones are better than others. Depending on what I'm making, I use Prego or Bertollli. The Prego needs doctoring up, but the Bertolli can stand on it's own.

If you look under the Alfedo Sauce thread, you'll find my seafood pasta recipe. It sure is good!
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:19 PM   #4
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I think a lot depends on where the tomatoes are from and what they are processed with. Many add sugar or corn syrup to cover very acidic tomatoes. I like those without sugars but with basil leaves (a nutural sweetener) I like to use olive oil and garlic, a can of diced tomatoes, a few hot chili flakes, some rosemary and saffron, orange zest, and the seafood. (adjust with salt and peper if needed) Makes a wonderful fresh pasta sauce.
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:36 AM   #5
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absolutely make your own sauce, especially with seafood projektor.
start with organic tomatoes, or italian tomatoes called san marzano.

if you are cooking meat like pork, veal, or beef (meatballs), brown them in evoo, then deglaze the pan with red wine. add both to the simmering tomatoes in a stainless steel pot.
if you want to sweeten it up, carmelize some diced tomatoes, and toss them in too. add dried herbs or robust fresh herbs about half way thru cooking. fresh, delicate herbs like basil should be added right at the end or their flavor will be lost.
add some tomato paste towards the end to thicken it up, and add a little more sweet tomato flavor.

for seafood, i usually start with a deep skillet, add crushed tomatoes, simmer for only a few minutes, then add white wine, and herbs (same rules for dried or fresh applies). you could stir in anchovy paste to get more seafood flavor, or add a little fish stock made from discarded lobster, crab, and shrimp shells. simmer this for just a few minutes more (reduce if you made it too watery with the stock or wine), then add the fish, cover, and it'll be done within just a few minutes, depending on the type and thicknesses of the fishes.
my favorite way to do fish is in a fra diavolo sauce. add a good pinch or 2 of crushed red pepper flakes and some capers to the simmering sauce before adding the fish.
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Old 01-17-2006, 04:42 AM   #6
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Like BT said, San Marzano tomatoes. Bar none, they make the best pomodoro sauce.
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Old 01-17-2006, 04:59 AM   #7
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It must have been for ages I last bought a canned tomatoe soup...
try it yourself and you will find out it tastes better and everytime a bit diefferent ;o)
make a roux, add some Tomata passata, season it -ready to eat...
usually that's faster than cooking the pasta
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Old 01-17-2006, 11:04 AM   #8
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Thanks very much for all your replies!
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Old 01-17-2006, 11:50 AM   #9
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Muir Glen is pretty good. Here are some recipes:

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Old 01-17-2006, 11:56 AM   #10
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I never buy pureed tomatoes. When I use canned I buy whole tomatoes and either blend or chop them myself. Some brands of crushed tomatoes are okay but others that say they are crushed look more like puree to me.
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mish
Muir Glen is pretty good. Here are some recipes:


I know a lot of people like Muir Glen.

I had been using San Marzanos and tried a few cans of Muir Glen Plum Tomatos. I found them to be very acidic. So strongly acidic that they are unacceptable for me.

I switched back to Pastene brand San Marzanos.
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Old 01-17-2006, 02:08 PM   #12
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I find Muir Glen acidic too but I know lots of people love them.

When buying San Marzano tomatoes make sure you buy the ones made in Italy. It's the soil that the tomatoes grow in that makes them special. The ones grown in California aren't nearly as good.
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Old 01-17-2006, 05:00 PM   #13
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When the red ripe tomatoes are in season, try just chopping it up, sautè very quickly with evoo, garlic, fresh ground black pepper and salt (don't get the tomatoes all mushy.. just to thoroughly heat them). Toss it together with pasta and fresh basil leaves... as simple as it can get, and as good as it can get!!
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