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Old 04-05-2011, 09:12 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
I didn't hear anyone mention celery. Am I the only one? I always use equal parts of chopped celery and onion in mine, lots of chopped fresh garlic too. I go heavy on the dried basil, a little dried oregano, some good red wine (not too much), and some dried Porchini mushrooms. I don't think I'd like capers or cloves in mine. I've never had a problem with bitterness, I wonder if it's because of the celery?
could be.

i leave it out because I don't always want it with the dish I may use the sauce for later (I make a lot of sauce a head of time)
if it is used later. I usually use some crushed celery seed and let it all sit for a while over low heat or in a double boiler.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:17 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
I didn't hear anyone mention celery. Am I the only one? I always use equal parts of chopped celery and onion in mine, lots of chopped fresh garlic too. I go heavy on the dried basil, a little dried oregano, some good red wine (not too much), and some dried Porchini mushrooms. I don't think I'd like capers or cloves in mine. I've never had a problem with bitterness, I wonder if it's because of the celery?
I almost puree my celery, but it always goes in! I love that flavor in my sauce.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:57 AM   #23
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This is my multi purpose tomato sauce, I make it to freeze for the winter when I pick my Roma paste toms.
I put a load of beef bones in a tray with lots of onions, splash with olive oil, some cubes of pancetta and roast, I then put everything into a big stock pot add as many cut toms as I can, lots of garlic and some water, simmer for three hour take out the bones (for the dog) then blitz with my stick blender, season with pepper, I salt when I use.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:56 AM   #24
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my problem with celery is texture. celery takes a long time to cook soft so I generally avoid it in sauces that are supposed to be less chunky
I cook my sauce a looooooong time to develop the flavors. You'd never know the fine dice celery is there, or the onions either for that matter.
Just sayin'...
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:57 AM   #25
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I cook my sauce a looooooong time to develop the flavors. You'd never know the fine dice celery is there, or the onions either for that matter.
Just sayin'...
hmm, stewing the sauce sounds like a good idea, I'll try that
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:19 PM   #26
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I swear this is the best sauce I've ever made (from Marcela Hazen):

28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes from a can (San Marzano, if you can find them)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt to taste

Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, discard the onion, add salt to taste and keep warm while you prepare your pasta.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:25 PM   #27
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Wow! That's a lot of advice. That is going to be one doozy of a sauce.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:51 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
I cook my sauce a looooooong time to develop the flavors. You'd never know the fine dice celery is there, or the onions either for that matter.
Just sayin'...
same here. it gets this gorgeous deep red color to it with a super "classic" flavor..it's just epic on everything
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:03 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Zereh View Post
I swear this is the best sauce I've ever made (from Marcela Hazen):

28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes from a can (San Marzano, if you can find them)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt to taste

Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, discard the onion, add salt to taste and keep warm while you prepare your pasta.
Isn't there a technical name for this kind of tomato sauce -- with the butter? I'm wracking my tiny name to recall...

It looks fabulous. Sadly I cook for a cow milk allergic person. I'll definitely make it sometime though !
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:44 PM   #30
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So, there were lots of suggestions for making the sauce sweeter. Any suggestions for how to make a tomato based sauce less sweet?
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:23 AM   #31
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i was reading online somewhere once about using butter to sweat the onions and garlic when making sauce (or red gravy) instead of olive or grapeseed oil.

the results were very good. it added a slight richness or roundness to the sauce that i liked very much.

it wasn't a tremendous difference, though, so adding a lot of spices or meats will render this technique somewhat useless. it would be better used in quickly cooked sauce for something like fish or just plain on pasta.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:55 AM   #32
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So, there were lots of suggestions for making the sauce sweeter. Any suggestions for how to make a tomato based sauce less sweet?

Sweetness usually isn't a problem unless you add a sweet ingredient. Are you asking about a pre-made sauce?
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:04 AM   #33
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Sweetness usually isn't a problem unless you add a sweet ingredient. Are you asking about a pre-made sauce?
No, I was thinking of when the tomatoes are sweet enough to make the sauce sweeter than I like. I prefer less sweet than most people.

But, if you have any hints for making pre-made sauce less sweet, that would be cool. We don't buy those often, but they are handy to have.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:13 AM   #34
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No, I was thinking of when the tomatoes are sweet enough to make the sauce sweeter than I like. I prefer less sweet than most people.

But, if you have any hints for making pre-made sauce less sweet, that would be cool. We don't buy those often, but they are handy to have.

I wish I could help. I have never run into a canned tomato product or fresh tomatoes that were too sweet on its own, even San Marzanos. I really dislike sweet sauces so I understand what you mean.

As for pre-made sauces, I don't ever use them. I'd just say to try a different brand.
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:08 PM   #35
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I wish I could help. I have never run into a canned tomato product or fresh tomatoes that were too sweet on its own, even San Marzanos. I really dislike sweet sauces so I understand what you mean.

As for pre-made sauces, I don't ever use them. I'd just say to try a different brand.
It doesn't happen often.

Well, yeah, switch to another brand But, for that one time, I usually add salt, but that only sort of helps.

There are a couple of brands that have all food ingredients and the pasta sauce is in a canning jar with a regular lid. I wish someone sold those lids. I put lots of stuff into canning jars for the fridge and a regular lid is easier to deal with than two piece canning lids. The two piece lids are good when you put something hot in the fridge. It's easier to open later, when the cooling has created suction.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:26 PM   #36
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I hate it when I come in on a line when everyone has already answered. I think I read them all (hope) but white wine and capers are way too much tart. Red wine, cut as suggested. But (I don't think that anyone has said this), a fortified dark wine (vermouth, marsala) might be an alternative. Some sweet without the sugar-y sweetness. It also seems to me that this might come out a little runny, in which case the suggestion of tomato paste is excellent. It will offset the tart and thicken at the same time.
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:18 PM   #37
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I agree Claire! I also agree with most of what was already suggested with the exception of the wine. I guess the biggest question is what kind of wine do you like to drink - red or white? sweeter or dryer? Whatever you like is what you should be putting into your sauce. There is a $4.99 bottle of table red at the store that I love and I typically use that to cook with. I use about a cup per large can of diced tomatoes, partially because I do the browner paste trick. I also use a little water if it needs to a little thinner after reducing. If you don't really care for wine, cut it out completely and use water.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:31 PM   #38
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In my family a tomato sauce that has meat in it is a gravy ... cooked low and slow for a few hours with meatballs, sausage, pork, bracciole, etc. in it. My mother used to put onion, garlic, a little bit of carrot and celery that she put through the food processor to get them chopped very fine.

Marinara sauce is a simple tomate sauce without meat. My family recipe couldn't be any simpler. Good quality extra virgin olive oil (about 1/4 cup), 3-4 cloves of garlic (choped if you want the garlic in the sauce ... left whole if you want the flavor), San Marzano whole tomatoes crushed by hand, fresh basil, and salt and pepper ... if you want a little zing, you can add some crushed pepper flakes too. Sautee the garlic in the EVOO, add the tomatoes, fresh basil, salt, and pepper, crushed pepper, if using, and let simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:23 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
I didn't use any of the online recipes, and I follow a couple of rules given by Alton Brown:

1. use canned tomato or garden tomato
2. tomato has flavors soluable in water, oil and alcohol

So my recipe goes like this:

28 ounce of canned crushed tomato
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 small onion, chopped
3 tbls olive oil
1 once of capers
1 cup white wine
salt and black pepper
pinch of ground cloves
1 tsp each of dry oregano and dry basil
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 bay leaf

heat oil in sauce plan and sweat the onion with a little salt. then add the garlic and brown them, while adding the parsley
turn heat on high and pour in 1/3 of the tomato to fry it for 30 seconds
turn heat back on low, pour in the rest of the tomato, wine, dry herbs, cloves, pepper and capers, then let cook for about 20 minutes

The problem with this sauce is that it tastes too much like wine, there's this pungent, zesty taste that I don't really like. But it can also be from the capers. Should I reduce the wine and omit the capers? I use cheap 3 dollar white wine from the store (not cooking wine)
First of all, that isn't Marinara Sauce. Marinara Sauce isn't up for creative endeavor. It's a classic sauce that consists of onions, tomatoes, garlic and basil. That's all.

Now, if you want to get creative, call it something other than Marinara.

However, your ratio of wine to tomatoes is way off, and your sauce is likely to be very bitter. Not to mention watery.
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:30 PM   #40
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june, while i would agree that a marinara sauce is usually a very basic sauce, saying it's not open to interpretation is both silly and somewhat pompous.

the term itself comes from the fact that sailors first brought tomatoes to europe, therefore when they
made a sauce with them (i'm sure with whatever other simple ingredients they had on board. fresh basil is doubtful, though) the locals just called the sauce marinara, or from a mariner.

i've heard other food experts claim that it has to have some kind of fish in it such as anchovies in order to call it a marinara. that's not a bad idea, but also etymologically incorrect.
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My marinara sauce recipe - please criticize! I didn't use any of the online recipes, and I follow a couple of rules given by Alton Brown: 1. use canned tomato or garden tomato 2. tomato has flavors soluable in water, oil and alcohol So my recipe goes like this: 28 ounce of canned crushed tomato 2 cloves of garlic, grated 1 small onion, chopped 3 tbls olive oil 1 once of capers 1 cup white wine salt and black pepper pinch of ground cloves 1 tsp each of dry oregano and dry basil 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley 1 bay leaf heat oil in sauce plan and sweat the onion with a little salt. then add the garlic and brown them, while adding the parsley turn heat on high and pour in 1/3 of the tomato to fry it for 30 seconds turn heat back on low, pour in the rest of the tomato, wine, dry herbs, cloves, pepper and capers, then let cook for about 20 minutes The problem with this sauce is that it tastes too much like wine, there's this pungent, zesty taste that I don't really like. But it can also be from the capers. Should I reduce the wine and omit the capers? I use cheap 3 dollar white wine from the store (not cooking wine) 3 stars 1 reviews
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