Friday, July 18, 2008

Mama Mia!

Unexpectedly Delicious Tomato Sauce

I've been meaning to post a tomato sauce recipe for some time. According to commercials for Ragu, Italian families hand down a time-honored recipe from mother to daughter for generations, the methods and flavors of the past preserved and enriched with loving care. This is soooo not the case with my family. My grandmother made a tangy, relatively thin sauce, while my mother prefers hers to be thick and sweet. Since it's clear I am not going to break my poor mother's heart by experimenting saucewise, I like diced tomatoes in mine.

A while back, there was a commercial on TV where this Italian family was so excited about Kraft Italian dressing, they got up and danced the tarantella around the dining room table. For some reason, that never happened at our house...

While roasting some sausage a few weeks ago, I discovered just how incredible broiled tomatoes can be. These were farm-fresh sweeties from (where else?) the farmer's market. Roasting brought out their sugars and mellowed them wonderfully. I had a few this week that were a bit past their prime as a salad ingredient, so I roasted them up and made a sauce. I put it over store-bought, shelf-stable gnocchi and, God, was it good.

Ingredient of the Day: Vidalia Onions
These onions are grown in Georgia, and are significantly sweeter than your standard white or yellow onion, and have a milder flavor than even most sweet onions. Use a sweet onion here, especially if you like a sweeter sauce.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

2-3 tomatoes, in wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 Vidalia onion, diced
1 small can tomato puree
1/3 cup white wine
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dry parsely
lots of fresh basil, shredded
salt (to taste)
pepper (as desired)
sugar (if your tomatoes suck)

Spread some olive oil in the bottom of a metal roasting pan, arrange the tomato wedges skin side down, and broil for 5 minutes, or just until you see brown at their edges. While that's going on, sautee your garlic and onions in a little olive oil until browned. Once that happens, add the roasted tomatoes, the small can of sauce, and the white wine. Simmer and stir, adding the balsamic vinegar, parsely, salt and pepper as desired. Throw in the basil last, and stir in well. Only add the sugar if the tomatoes and onion aren't sufficiently sweet, unless you plan on using this sauce as a dessert topping.

1 comment:

adele said...

Yum. I need to find a farmer's market that's closer than the one in Watertown... Haymarket is great for fruit and some vegetables, but for some reason, their tomatoes and zucchini really suck.