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Old 03-13-2008, 09:06 AM   #1
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Pomodoro Sauce (Italian Tomato Sauce)

Pomodoro (Italian for "Tomato") sauce is the mother sauce of about a half-dozen different Italian sauces. You can go from this recipe to any number of permutations on the standard American "spaghetti sauce", and it also makes a great base for old classical Italian sauces such as Puttanesca or Bolognese.

This is a crock pot recipe unless you have 4 hours to sit and babysit a stockpot full of sauce so it doesn't burn.

You will need:
6-8 cans diced tomatoes (or dice them yourself!)
1 tbsp crushed basil leaves
1 tbsp ground oregano
4 peeled carrots
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
half of a red onion, minced
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 bell pepper, small dice
1 butternut squash, small dice (no seeds!)
salt and fresh-ground pepper (just have some on hand)
1 can tomato paste

Ok, you've done your prep work and have your mise en place set up, right? The tomatoes are diced (or cans are open), the carrots are peeled and standing by, and your small-cut veggies are sitting on a tray in ramekins waiting for you. If not, stop reading and go prep your mise.

Right, toss the tomatoes, spices and carrots into the crock pot and turn her on to low heat. The carrots will absorb a lot of the acidity of the tomatoes so that you don't have to worry as much about pH balancing the sauce somewhere else on the plate when you finish it. About the spices, if you want to use fresh ones from the garden, double the amount and make sure you get a good, fine mince on it.

Now get out a great big fry pan and threaten your kids with it.

Now that you've got that accomplished, get it on some heat (medium-high) and heat up the olive oil so that it coats the pan. Throw in the garlic and onion and cook until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the pepper and squash and "sweat" them with a little water. Transfer all of this to the crock pot.

Turn the crock pot to "high" and go watch the Godfather series.

When you come back, tears in your eyes from the tragic ending of the 3rd movie, remove the carrots from the sauce and discard them, and add the tomato paste. It should take only one can to even out and thicken the sauce nicely. Salt and pepper to taste.

You can serve this sauce immediately over angel-hair pasta for Pasta Pomodoro, or you can ladle some of this sauce into a saucepan with cooked italian sausage and ground beef for a good meat sauce. Also goes well with a lightly breaded and fried chicken breast covered in parmesan cheese for some Chicken Parmesan.

You can also serve almost any wine with this sauce, depending on the meat compliment you choose for the sauce. By itself, a refreshing, cool white wine would go best. In a meat sauce? Try Coppola Merlot.

If I forgot something, tell me and I'll edit.

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Old 03-13-2008, 10:56 AM   #2
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Butternut squash? I haven't seen that used in tomato sauce before.
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:01 AM   #3
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your end rind of parmesano reggiano, let it cook in the sauce...then fish it out and toss it...adds great depth of flavor
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:48 PM   #4
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Butternut squash? I have to agree with Constance here - even in my old-school Italian cookbooks or from my old-school Italian friends (some direct from the old country), butternut squash is not an ingredient in Italian gravy. Where'd you find that ingredient?
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:53 PM   #5
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it's a new one to me as well, but the idea of squash to help with sweetness and texture is a good one.

thanks weeks. i'll have to try this.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:04 PM   #6
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Buckytom - the four carrots should MORE than handle the sweetness issue. And carrots don't "absorb" the acidity of the tomatoes, they release their sugars into the sauce while they cook. Removing them from the sauce & throwing them out is pointless. And the squash won't add much, if any, texture - it will be mush by the time the cooking is over.

To be honest, I'd love for Weeks to check in here & let us know where this recipe came from & why/how he thinks it's so authentic. I'm more than willing to stand corrected if he can give a legitimate source.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:17 PM   #7
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breezy, i don't think the recipe is a massively critical issue. having cried at godfather 3 is, but not the ingredients or authenticity.
for every family in italy there's a recipe for sugo, whether it's in a cookbook or not.

agreed about the carrots, though, on both sweetness and the absorption thing, but i'm reading it with a little literary license. absorb in the sense of counter acting. not physically absorbing it.

also, these tomatoes might be particularly acidic, needing more help.

i still like the idea of the squash for texture, especially in a more uniform, thinner sauce.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:21 PM   #8
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Breezy is absolutely right about the carrots. They don't neutralize acid, they add sugar which helps mask acid. You could also just add sugar.

Neither carrots nor sugar will increase the pH of the sauce, as sugar itself is mildly acidic.

Also, you don't use a base sauce when you make Bolognese.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
breezy, i don't think the recipe is a massively critical issue. having cried at godfather 3 is, but not the ingredients or authenticity.
for every family in italy there's a recipe for sugo, whether it's in a cookbook or not.
He seems to be presenting it as *the* recipe for pomodoro sauce, though. All the pomodoro sauce recipes I've seen are very simple - like this: Don Pomodoro Sauce: The Splendid Table Recipe Box
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
He seems to be presenting it as *the* recipe for pomodoro sauce, though.

funny, i didn't read that anywhere.




what's with the recipe assasination today? the guy posted a freakin' recipe which might be good.

how about a little appreciation for sharing it? geez!

jenny, i'm curious, do you do soemthing different than create a sauce around chopped meat for your bolognese? i mean, you'd add a lot of the same ingredients that create a sauce with the meat, thus the bolognese, right?
adding an already made basic sauce to browned beef and a few extra ingredients isn't that far of a strectch, imo.
there are "whiter" versions, made with wine and cream, but they're just different versions.

if there's one thing that i've learned about italians is that everyone has their own versions, their own take on things.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
funny, i didn't read that anywhere.
I didn't say he wrote that - I said he seems to be presenting it that way.

There are a lot of new cooks around who might get the idea that this is an authentic, generally accepted recipe for pomodoro sauce rather than an individual variation of a classic. I think there's value in knowing the difference.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
jenny, i'm curious, do you do soemthing different than create a sauce around chopped meat for your bolognese? i mean, you'd add a lot of the same ingredients that create a sauce with the meat, thus the bolognese, right?
adding an already made basic sauce to browned beef isn't that far of a strectch, imo.
Bolognese sauce includes milk, which is rare, maybe unique, in a tomato/meat sauce, as far as I know. Not claiming to be an expert, of course, that's just what I gather from a lot of reading.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I didn't say he wrote that - I said he seems to be presenting it that way.

There are a lot of new cooks around who might get the idea that this is an authentic, generally accepted recipe for pomodoro sauce rather than an individual variation of a classic. I think there's value in knowing the difference.

agreed about new cooks, however, i sure hope that the new cooks here don't become afraid to post a recipe for fear of being attacked for presentation, or ingredients, or authenticity.

a little "thanks for posting, but i have a question" woulda been nice.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:56 PM   #14
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It's not "recipe assasination" Bucky - it's the implicated tone of the post that "This Is It" (which it ain't).

GotGarlic "got" it - lol!! If Weeks had just said he had an interesting recipe for Pomodoro Sauce, I'd consider it just a variation. But the tone of the post was definitely "This Is IT". If you're posting a "This Is It" kind of recipe, you really need to be sure that what you're posting is the real deal. And I seriously doubt this is a recipe for true authentic Italian Pomodoro sauce. I don't have any recipes for Pomodoro that are solely my own, but if I can scare up some links that come from some of my old Italian cookbooks or scare up some of my old-country friends, I'll post back.

One thing I will say is that butternut squash doesn't come into play in basic Italian sauces like Pomodoro. Definitely not in any Italian sauces that would be considered "mother sauce" bases for Bolognese, Puttenesca, etc., etc.

Here's a Food Network link to a recipe that comes closes to a true "Pomodoro" - aka "Italian tomato mother sauce":

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_12258,00.html

There are lots of others, but they're basically the same.

What Weeks posted was an interesting Italian tomato sauce recipe - but it has absolutely zero to do with Pomodoro sauce.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:06 PM   #15
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You could use this basic sauce to make puttanesca or amatriciana or other sauces that are created by adding in ingredients but not bolognese.

Bolognese is a very specific sauce using a specific technique. It's not adding tomato sauce to ground beef. The latter is fine. I do it all the time and this sauce would be fine for that purpose, but it's not Bolognese sauce.

Bolognese all about the layered flavors of the meat and vegetables, wine and milk. Tomatoes (plain) or tomato paste are used, though are not a key ingredient. You would not want to substitute a flavored sauce like this.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:11 PM   #16
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jenny, i understand your point, but i doubt you could tell the difference if a basic sauce were added to the other ingredients, instead of building it. adding a little tomato sauce instead of paste and tomatoes, as you've said, is only a small part of the sauce, so the difference would be hard to tell, imo.



breezy, so, let me get this straight.

there's only ONE recipe for these sauces? and only ONE method of preparing them.

geez, all this time i thought that there were lots of recipes and interpretations for most things, especially italian dishes. and people should be thanked for their input.

omg, i can't believe i was sooo wrong. can you forgive me?

ya know, i tried to make a joke about it to lighten the inquisition, but if it walks like a duck...
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:16 PM   #17
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Question

I would like to know what size cans are the diced tomatoes? I will certainly give this one a try out.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:18 PM   #18
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BUT IT'S ALL WRONG!!! DON"T YOU GET IT...

how dare you ask!!!!!


lol, j/k, busyfingers.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:19 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
breezy, so, let me get this straight.

there's only ONE recipe for these sauces? and only ONE method of preparing them.

geez, all this time i thought that there were lots of recipes and interpretations for most things, especially italian dishes. and people should be thanked for their input.

omg, i can't believe i was sooo wrong. can you forgive me?

ya know, i tried to make a joke about it to lighten the inquisition, but if it walks like a duck...
I must have missed the joke part. Bucky, there are names for recipes for a reason, just like things have names - it's so we can all communicate without unnecessary confusion. Yes, there are lots of recipes and interpretations, but they should be labeled as such and not presented as *the* one if it's not.

As a computer guy, this should makes sense to you. Don't you hate it when a computer user needing support tries to explain what they did but they use the terminology wrong and then say, "Well, that's what *I* call it." Well, we can get to the bottom of the problem a whole lot easier if we all use the same terms.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:26 PM   #20
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my joke was about the godfather, and that authenticity was not important. it snowballed from there.

i understand your point about using common language (i'm smart enough to know when an idiotic user is fumbling through an explanation to go look at the problem myself), but my objection was to the rudeness of the replies.

i can kinda see how you're reading this as weeks saying that this is the definitive sauce, but he really never said those words. the fault still doesn't lie in the interpretation, but the fact that it was replied to as such.

ok, tapping out.
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