So this is a simple recipe for tomato sauce. I developed it using a combination of different sauce/soup/bisque recipes. Why is it great?
1. It's more flavorful (and much fresher and healthier) than pre-made tomato sauce.
2. It's flexible -- changing just a couple of things can give it a whole new purpose.
3. It freezes well and works great for dinner when you're too tired to make something.
4. It's a good way to use up tomatoes and/or onions and garlic if you were too excited by the pretty cheap tomatoes at the farmer's market (...what?)
5. You can easily change ingredients to your liking.
Here's what you do:
Roma tomatoes (no seeds) (you can use regular tomatoes, too -- the important part is no seeds)
lots of butter
a pinch of nutmeg
a bit of tomato paste (extrato de tomate in Portuguese)
Some tomato juice or sauce (juice is better for soup, sauce is better for, well, sauce. This isn't necessary and kind of defeats the purpose of making your own sauce, but it helps the sauce to thicken nicely. You can also just buy some canned/bagged crushed tomatoes, or use more tomato paste, or more fresh tomatoes. Tomato juice is hard to find in Brazil.)
fresh basil (you can use dried basil in a pinch -- get it, a pinch? har har) -- but fresh is better)
salt and pepper
chicken bullion (caldo de frango)
for soup: crème de leite/heavy cream
optional: shredded chicken and/or pasta
- Melt the butter.
- Heat the chopped garlic and onion in the butter.
- Add tomato products and spices (not the basil).
- Simmer until tomatoes are very soft.
- Blend almost all of the mixture with the fresh basil. (Leave a little of the mixture in the pot. You'll add the blended mix back in and mix it all together again. This helps to thicken the sauce. It's optional, if you prefer a less chunky sauce.)
- Remix the blended and unblended parts together and reheat.
- For soup, add crème de leite.
I know my recipe seems kind of confusing/disjointed/incomplete, but that's the point -- it's the base of a recipe. It's meant to give you some ideas, and hopefully to inspire you to make your own tomato sauce. It's really tasty.