Tag Archives: pizza


8 Feb

Basic Tomato Sauce

I love sauce! Don’t you?  I will confess I am a dipper at heart.  If some kind of sauce or dip is involved I am very happy!

So this last week I have been concentrating on learning the sauce section in the culinary school.  The 5 Mother Sauces. Once you learn these you will be able to make any dinner into a gourmet delight!

On Sunday, I made the basic tomato sauce from the Rouxbe Online Cooking School that I am studying with.   But let me tell you, this was no basic tomato taste.

It turned out fabulous.  Reminded me of your authentic Italian style marinara, but I’m talking authentic!!  It was awesome I was drooling to try it before the sauce was even finished.  I held out though…

It all started with Whole Canned Tomatoes, Tomato Paste, Garlic Cloves, a little Onion and some Olive Oil.  That’s it, that’s all that went into it.

Here’s the recipe:

1/4 Onion
4      Large Cloves Garlic
1/2  Cup Olive Oil
4      Cans 28 oz. Whole Tomatoes
1       Can Tomato Paste 5.5 oz.

The first step is to seed your tomatoes.  (Yes, you are going to take all the seeds out.)  They recommend that you do this with a food mill.  If you do not have one of these things on hand, get a large bowl and a large mesh sieve and you can do it by hand.  Remember to keep the sauce is in the can you will use all of this.

This is how I did it.  The first tomato went fast, I was like this isn’t so bad, until I realized how many whole tomatoes are in a 28 oz. can.  Don’t get me wrong; it is so worth it, but for next time I will be getting a food mill.

Once you seed your tomatoes, (EDIT: I forgot to tell all of you people doing this by hand that you will need to crush your tomatoes afterward, picture marinara sauce.)

You will need to get a large pot heated to about med/low.  A heavy bottomed pot works the best.  While that’s heating go ahead and get the rest of your mise en place*(see note below) ready.  Small dice your onion, emince ( A-MAHN-SAY; to finely slice-not mince) your garlic, measure out your tomato paste and olive oil.

Once your pot is at the right temperature add your olive oil, then add your onion.  Saute them until they are lightly golden, DO NOT OVERCOOK THEM as they can give the sauce a bitter taste.  Same goes for the garlic.  Once the onions are slightly golden throw your garlic in and stir.  Let them cook between 30 sec to a minute.

Tomato Paste and Garlic

Then put your tomato paste in.  Keep mixing the tomato paste in with the onion and garlic, it will still be pretty pasty.  You are looking for the paste to darken a shade in color.
Once this has happened it is time to add your tomatoes and the sauce that came with them.  Bring the whole thing to a simmer and cook uncovered for about an hour.  Keep stirring from time to time to prevent scorching.

This recipe will make 3 Liters of sauce.  I halved the recipe as I didn’t have enough canned tomatoes and it was perfect.  If making the full recipe you can freeze this sauce and it will be great re-heated slowly.

My sauce turned out fabulously, we put it over pasta but there are many many wonderful uses for this sauce as it could also be used as a base in many recipes. (Chicken Parmesan, Lasagna, Pizza etc.)

Tonight I plan on putting over a thin crusted pizza will fresh basil for a snack.  I’m drooling just thinking about it.

I did take some pictures of this process, but realized that I am going to have to hire my talented husband in the future, as I am not gifted in this area, plus it’s hard to take a picture of yourself seeding tomatoes while your up to your ears in tomato juice and seeds.  That would have made a good picture!!  I ‘ll post my not-so-professional pictures later.

I encourage you to try this recipe as it was a LOT of fun to make and reminded me of Cascone’s authentic Italian Marinara.

Almost forgot, after the sauce has finished thickening, you can add a drizzle of olive oil and some torn fresh basil to make it even more yummy.

I am definitely going to make a HUGE batch next time so that I can freeze some for later.  The half batch that I made wasn’t enough for much left overs, it’s almost gone!!

*Mise En Place– This by far has been the most beneficial thing that I have learned in cooking school yet.  Seriously, this french phrase as been the foundation for me to becoming the cook that I desire to be.

Pronounced Meez-Ahn-Plahs (I’m no english teacher, but I get the job done.)

This is a french culinary term meaning to have all your ingredients diced, sliced and on the ready before you start.


Today it is used much more loosely as it means to just gather all your ingredients and having yourself set up for the recipe.

More than a culinary term; it is also a state of mind.

If you are making a dish or recipe that has a lot of ingredients that require prepping you MUST have you mise en place ready.  It is essential to having everything come out right.

Flip on the food channel and watch the chefs cook, they have everything pretty much ready to go.  I always thought that was just TV but there was something to it.

Now I am sure to do this ahead of time with whatever I am cooking and I have an easier time managing a bunch of different things at once.

If I could only paint you a before picture of what I used to look like while preparing a meal.  It wasn’t pretty people!

So when you here me say mise en place, you know what I mean.