Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quick Tomato Sauce

We have meatballs.

We have pasta, cooked and ready to go.

Now we need a sauce.

We could use the pomodoro sauce I've made in the past, but I wanted to try out a recipe I had saved from America's Test Kitchen.

At first glance, it looks complicated, but it really is extremely simple.  The hardest part is grating the onion - more so for me because I don't own a box grater (something I need to rectify ASAP.)  I was using a microplane zester.  YES, a zester.  This was the smallest grate ever.  If you don't have a grater, just cut in slices, and then cut the slices smaller.  It's almost the same effect.

My main substitution, as usual, were the tomatoes.  I had one can of petite diced tomatoes, and one can of diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings.  This was perfectly acceptable - use what you have on hand.  I will concede it might not be the exact same flavor, but when the can of diced tomatoes are $0.49 and the Muir Glen whole tomatoes are 3.99... you have to make a choice.  I erred on the side of affordability.

Cooking time was short and sweet.  I added the meatballs and let them simmer even longer in the sauce at a lower temperature.  I still think a smaller size for the meatballs would have been beneficial, and that's my fault. Oh well.  Next time.

Flavor wise, I can't choose between the sauces!  I love them both!  I might lean a bit more towards ATK, but Lucinda... AHHH.  So hard to choose.


Quick Tomato Sauce from America's Test Kitchen, Season 10.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup grated onion, from one medium onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Table salt
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (or 2 14 ounce cans)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Ground black pepper

1.  Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted.  Add onion, oregano, and 0.5 teaspoon salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about five minutes.

2.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3.  Add tomatoes and sugar.  Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer.

4.  Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

5.  Off heat, stir in the basil and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.


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