No fresh tomatoes? Post favorite spaghetti sauce recipe...

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PA Baker

Master Chef
Sep 1, 2004
USA, Pennsylvania
While I was rummaging around in my freezer last night, I came upon my last bag of fresh tomatoes from this summer :cry: . So, it's time to start thinking about tomato sauces with canned tomatoes. This is one of my favorites for a basic sauce. It's great for meatballs.

Mom’s Best Spaghetti Sauce

The trick in this sauce is baking soda, which takes the “edge” off the tomatoes. Do not taste the sauce right after adding it though!

4 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
4 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
3 c water
4 c fresh sliced mushrooms
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp white sugar
¼ c chopped fresh basil
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 pinches baking soda
¼ c grated Parmesan cheese

Mix together whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, mushrooms, onions, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper, basil, and 1 pinch of baking soda in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for 4 hours minimum.

Stir in another pinch of baking soda; the sauce will foam. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and almost brown. Make sure to scrape the sides of the pan into the sauce.

After the sauce is fork consistency, stir in Parmesan cheese. Watch to make sure the cheese doesn’t burn. Taste sauce. If too tangy or acidic, add another pinch of baking soda and simmer another ½ hour.

Cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, reheat and serve.
This recipe has to make enoough sauce for an army! My mom used to do the baking soda thing too, PA.

Nowadays the winter tomato sauce she makes involves only canned tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil, and some olive oil.
the baking soda is supposed to absorb extra water from the tomatoes, no? i have been told a little flour is ok, but no baking soda. if need be, add tomato paste to thicken the sauce...
mudbug said:
A pinch of baking soda takes out some of the acidity of the tomatoes and "sweetens" the sauce.

What she said! It eliminates the need to add excess sugar to the sauce. It really does mellow the flavor nicely. But like my recipe cautions, don't taste the sauce for awhile after you add the baking soda (about 1/2 hour). It really masks the true flavor for a bit and could cause you to add too much baking soda. It makes the sauce foam at first, too, which is fun to watch (OK, so I'm easily amused!), but it quickly goes back to looking normal.
Oh I can't agree more about being patient after adding the baking soda!!!!! Once there's too much it's too late and it's really, really bad!!!!!

mudbug - At the restaurant I worked at that's exactly how we made our marinara - and there's no way to get around it - it's GREAT!!!! Through the years there every chef that came in wanted to change it and they were thoroughly disgusted when they were told to change it back!!! LOL

Everyone wants to be creative and change things but you can't beat this simple recipe. I always make sure that the basil is pretty plentiful. When I go to heat it again I slowly saute it to remove even more of the juice and concentrate the flavors. - Oh yea - this is in my future in the next few days!!!!

This can easily be topped with a grilled/sauteed chicken breast, or surrounded by grilled veggies, or a combination of mussels, clams, and squid.
elfie, I'm still in the heavy-on-the-meat phase of tomato sauce, with lots of mushrooms, onions, and red wine. One of these days I'm gonna have to do mom's recipe - probably over chicken or seafood as you suggest.
This sauce isnt cooked at all.
Canned diced tomatoes.
Chopped olives
Cracked pepper
A punch of salt
Good Olive Oil
A little rosemary
And either garlic powder or minced garlic

MIX and let it set for about 20 minutes or longer. Put well drained HOT pasta over it and mix!

ENJOY! :D Trust me guys this recipe is SO easy and it is FAST too! Its VERY tasty!!!!!
I think this would still be great with some Italian sausage - spicy and hot!!!! I've never tried to duplicate this using meat - I might try that too. But when I do meat I want a mixture of ground beef and pork - the flavor is great!!!!!! Or even all pork sometimes.

But as is makes a good side dish to some lemon chicken, or rosemary chicken, or slices of pork tenderloin.

I guess theoretically it would need some tomato paste - otherwise the meat would stand out too much - or maybe pureeing the tomatoes would help.

Forget to mention that I usually add some red wine and kalamata olives to my recipe but not every time.

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