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Old 08-26-2009, 01:11 PM   #1
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Question Homemade Spaghetti Sauce for the Anti-Tomato Man

Hi everyone, I am new here, thank you in advance for any suggestions!

I have an enormous pile of tomatos from my garden and decided to use some of them to make spaghetti sauce, using a simple recipe that I got from a friend. It simmered all afternoon and smelled so good. It tastes pretty good too, at least I think so.

Unfortunately my husband, who doesn't like tomatos in general but does like commercially prepared spaghetti sauce, doesn't like my sauce. He says it's "too tomato-ey." (To his credit, he did preface this comment with an "I'm really sorry, Sweetie.")

Does anyone have any recipes for spaghetti sauce that is made with fresh tomatos yet would appeal to those with "basic shelf-brand" (read: not expensive or gourmet) taste?

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Old 08-26-2009, 01:23 PM   #2
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I'd keep the fresh stuff for myself and buy DH a jar of the store brand stuff for his pasta.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:32 PM   #3
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What kinds of seasonings are you using? Fresh aromatics like onion and garlic and fresh herbs oregano or basil will give the sauce a more complex flavor and distract from the pure tomato-ness of the sauce. You could also add spices like a little paprika or some cayenne, or a bit of tomato paste, which imho makes things taste less "fresh" tomato-y and more "cooked" tomato-y.
I wonder too if there's a texture preference going on. Maybe your sauce has some chunks, but he likes things smooth? You could try smoothing it out with an immersion blender. HTH! :)
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:40 PM   #4
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Yeah, post the recipe and let's take a look.

I am betting he wants more sweet and less recognizable chunks of tomato.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:33 PM   #5
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The "Too-Tomato-ey" recipe

Thanks guys! I am sure it will help if I can reduce the size of any discernable vegetable pieces .

There is definitely a taste issue going on too though.

Here is the recipe:

Remove the skin from 12-15 tomatos

Saute:
2 green peppers
3 carrots
1-2 onions
3 cloves of garlic.

Put everything in a big pot and add:
4 t. basil
4 t. oregano
1 t. pepper
3 t. salt
4 t. honey

Stir and simmer to desired consistency.

It's fairly general. I think for this batch I used 15 tomatos, 2 small green peppers, 3 carrots, 2 small onions, and I had to use garlic powder instead of fresh (I think the conversion was 1/4 t. to 1 clove, so 3/4 t.)
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:39 PM   #6
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Hmm. The thing that jumps out at me is that there's no olive oil. Without some fat pasta sauce tends to taste a bit like warm tomatoes. Why not try adding a few tablespoons of olive oil and see what happens? Under-salting will have the same effect, so make sure you're tasting the recipe and adjusting for seasonings. I'm not a pasta sauce expert yet, though, so hopefully some other suggestions are coming! Good luck. :)
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:55 PM   #7
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More garlic. Less honey, more sugar. Puree till the tomatoes are smooth.
Is it salty enough? Jarred sauce is pretty salty, I think.
I agree with the oil suggestion.

Maybe all it needs is a pound or two of ground burger!
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
I'd keep the fresh stuff for myself and buy DH a jar of the store brand stuff for his pasta.
OMG! This is just what I was going to say!
What could be better than making fresh spaghetti sauce with fresh out of the garden ing.? Honey, do not "dumb down" your recipe for that man. Even if he is your loving husband. Go buy him a jar of Ragu and you keep the good stuff for yourself. Freeze any left over and if you need help just call me and I'll be right over to help you finish any up!
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:05 PM   #9
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Looks like it should have lots of great flavor. Brown some meat (hamburger or Italian sausage) and make a small saucepan of meat sauce using your base sauce. See if that is more to his liking. Also, some dry red wine will bring out more complex flavanoids.
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:08 PM   #10
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Oh - I didn't mention that I sauted the other veggies in olive oil - but maybe add some more?
Thanks!
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:10 PM   #11
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Sorry - after I posted the note about using olive oil to saute the veggies, I just saw that there are a bunch of other replies. I will read them later - keep 'em coming - thanks so much!
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:59 PM   #12
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Oh come on.. we are FOODIES!

This is a challenge to be met, conquered and rewarded with a hearty

THAT WAS GOOD EATIN' HONEY...

So I say to all you naysayers and Ragu recommenders, in the best voice of
Alton Brown... let's make this sauce GOOD EATS!

And in that Iron Chef guy (who will be dancing with the stars)
ALLE CUSINE!

Keep it for ourselves, indeed! hmmph!

(All in good humor, folks! no offense intended)
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:06 PM   #13
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Sorry about the joking Jen. I'd definatly use less to no honey and just use a sprinkly of gran. sugar. Up the garlic and if you puree the tomatoes, just do half. Then pour it into the rest. He just may not be used to chunks of tomato in which case you might want to do all of them. I too would ask him how he feels about you browning some hamburger and adding it to the mix. You wouldn't need to use the olive oil then cause you'd have the flavor from the meat. I personally don't use carrot but if you like them in there use them. Taste as you go and if you need more herbs by all means add a pinch at a time. You can always add more but, you can't take them out after you've put them in.
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:10 PM   #14
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15 tomatoes strikes me as an awful lot for the amount of other ingredients. I'd reduce the tomatoes or increase everything else.

Also, the honey doesn't appeal to me. MAYBE a teaspoon up to 1 tablespoon of sugar, but only if the sauce seems a little too acidic when it's nearly done.

I second the notion of adding sauteed ground beef, or Italian sausage, and perhaps to 1 pound of sauteed mushrooms.

And a tablespoon of salt sounds like too much to me, but that will depend on how much sauce you have. I'd start with teaspoon.

Finally, when I make sauce like this, I simmer it a good 2 to 3 hours.
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:18 PM   #15
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I do think you may need more fat. Browned up ground meat is a good idea too, or as I mentioned, a touch more olive oil. If you brown up the meat in a skillet, add a bit of the sauce to the skillet when the beef is brown to sort of deglaze the pan and get all the flavorful fond off the bottom of the pan. Then, pour the whole thing into the sauce. I also agree with the others that the honey probably wasn't necessary with the carrots - they both add sweetness. Next time I'd try carrots or a touch of regular sugar, just to tame the acidity. Mushrooms and/or red wine are also great ideas for flavor; I remember reading that tomatoes have flavor components that are only "unlocked" by alcohol. Another idea would be a bit of really good freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:02 PM   #16
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Honey??? Sugar??? I don't add either to my homemade tomato sauces, & I don't buy commercial sauces that have sugar listed in the ingredients unless it's WAY at the bottom.

No wonder hubby doesn't like your sauce. Neither I or my husband would like it either - lol!!! And I don't mean that to infer that you're a crummy cook - just that we (& lots of folks) don't like "sweet" pasta sauce.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:34 PM   #17
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I think if you are going to try it again you should try a couple of options.
1. Oven roast the tomatoes and other veggies (onions and garlic especially) a bit before "saucing" them. Just cut the tomatoes in half and seed them if you like. Toss the tomatoes and other veggies you are roasting with some oil and put them on a cookie sheet. Roast til the skin looks like its peeling away from the cut edges. Pull 'em out, yank the skins off and then sauce as normal. This might eliminate the need for sugar at all, but I'm with those who say no to honey and yes to a bit of sugar. Brown if you have it.

2. Up the oil content. You can do that either by adding meat or sausage to the sauce or just by adding some oil to it.

3. Add alcohol. Doesn't need to be a lot, but a splash of wine will really perk up the flavours.

4. Just make salsa. LOL!!!
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:01 PM   #18
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Ooh, roasting is a good idea. I make a pizza sauce with roasted tomatoes that I can actually make year round (even with crappy winter tomatoes) because roasting does good things with the flavor! It does taste a bit different though. Good, but different.
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:24 PM   #19
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Sweetie.....as a bride of 62 years, I'll say, along with some others....keep the "good" stuff for yourself and buy DH some bottled stuff!!!!
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:34 AM   #20
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I have the same thing, hubbie like the jar sauce. so I make the good stuff and have that on my pasta and he has the jar stuff on his. But i do mix half and half when making stuff schells or lasagna. he doesn't know but say it taste great,
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