You can not get far in Italian Cooking without a good basic Tomato Sauce or Red Gravy or in Italian... "Salsa di Pomodoro alle erbe"...
I'll never forget the first time this Midwestern farm country boy first heard tomato sauce called a gravy. My good friend Mario Russomano (I think he was Italian... Just kidding, North Jersey Italian through and through) was commenting on a restaurant pasta sauce and comparing it to his mothers' gravy. Having grown up with jars of Ragu, I was astounded that anyone would bother with making their own from scratch.
Well, welcome to astounding...
I am a bit of a home gardener. For the last 5 or 6 years I have been growing and harvesting a variety of tomatoes... Beefsteak, Heirloom, Roma and more. But the most consistent, most plentiful plants have been my San Marazano variety. These are the variety of tomatoes you see on the cooking shows. And for good reason.
This is my second batch of sauce I have made this year from my plants. Pretty sure I will get another batch before winter shuts me down.
SO, 5 plants this year, over 25 jars of sauce for the year... even enough to gift to friends!
Herbed Tomato Sauce
Herbed Tomato Sauce
"Salsa di Pomodoro alle erbe"
for Pasta Pizza or Cooking,
Slow Cooker, Crock Pot Recipe
Slow Cooker, Crock Pot Recipe
- 3 TBS Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion, Chopped
- 1 Medium Bell Pepper, Core and seeds removed, Chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and minced
- 2 Gallon Bucket filled with San Marzano Tomatoes, tomatoes then tips cut off, seeds and inner membrane removed
- 2 Small (6 OZ) Cans Tomato Paste
- 1/2 Cup Red Wine
- 2 TBS Chopped fresh Oregano
- 2 TBS Chopped fresh basil
- 2 TBS Chopped fresh Rosemary
- 3 TBS Chopped fresh Thyme
- 1 Large Pinch Salt
- Several turns of a Pepper Grinder to taste
- 2 TBS Balsomic Vinegar
- Break out a 6 Quart Slow Cooker, set on Low
- But first, in a large Saute pan or skillet, heat the Olive Oil over medium heat.
- When hot and just starting to smoke, add Onions and peppers and saute for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions begin to turn translucent.
- After 5 minutes, add the garlic and continue to cook for ONLY 1 minute more to release the garlic oils.
- Transfer the vegetables into the slow cooker. Add the tomatoes
- Stir in the wine and stir to mix everything.
- Add the spices, stir one more time, close the lid and leave the cooker closed for 8 hours.
- After 8 hours, open the lid and use a hand blender to puree the sauce. If you do not have a hand blender you can puree in batches in a blender or food processor.
- Add the Tomato Paste to your liking. I like a thick sauce so I use two cans of paste to thicken the sauce.
- Now, add the final ingredient some sweet Balsamic Vinegar, mix well
- Taste the sauce and add more salt or pepper if needed. Be careful to not over salt as this sauce will may be used to season already salted food. Better too little than too much.
- Return to the slow cooker, set it on low and slow simmer another 8 hours (I do mine overnight, nearly 24 hours total). A LONG slow cook will release the natural sugars in the tomatoes.
- Serve over pasta, as a pizza sauce, or cooking sauce. Store fresh in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze immediately in plastic freezer bags, 2 cups worth is ideal.
- Or store in canning jars. DO a water bath for long term storage.
I make this often, never being without a jar in my fridge for a quickie pasta meal or pizza. It really takes very little hands on work and the rewards are Worth the world! So many uses.
Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop. The world's most popular cuisine, authentic, natural, organic, Farm to Table... the Italians started, perfected or embraced it before it became a fad. This page is a guide to Italian Cooking... For the home cook! So, Cin Cin (toast) and Buon Appetito (Enjoy your Meal) to you all and let's Cook authentic Italian!
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