Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Basics : Tomato Sauce

Many recipes, including the ones I will be giving you this week, call for tomato sauce.  You can buy tomato sauce in a can, but it's very easy to make your own and then you know exactly what has gone into it.

Don't waste your money either on those small cans of pizza sauce.  This is really just thicker tomato sauce with added seasonings, and you can easily adjust this recipe to make any flavour you prefer.

Here is the basic recipe that I use :

Ingredients :

-  1/2 cup finely chopped onion
-  1 tablespoon olive oil
-  one 14 ounce can of tomato paste
-  2 cups water
-  1 tablespoon of a good Italian seasonings blend
-  1 tablespoon of sea salt
-  1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
-  1 teaspoon sweetener of choice (this counteracts the bitterness tomatoes sometimes can have)
-  1 tablespoon chopped garlic

Directions :

-  In a skillet brown the onions.
-  Put into a large saucepan with all the rest of the  ingredients.  You need to use a large pan because the sauce tends to splatter quite a bit while cooking.
-  Bring to a boil, then low the heat to your lowest setting and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until your sauce is slightly thicker.  To make pizza sauce just cook longer so the sauce is thicker.

Once cooked, I'd suggest you freeze this in an ice cube tray, then you can take out just as much as you need without having to wait until a large container thaws.

Having tomato sauce in your freezer will let you make lots of quick meals very easily.  Use it as a topping on breaded chicken .......

or use to make chicken or beef stuffed peppers, tomatoes or onions, just to name a couple.

And in a pinch, this can make a quick meal.  Cut up some frozen crepes or use Miracle noodles.  Heat up a few cubes in the microwave, pour over your noodles, and top with some grated parmesan. If you have some leftover chicken or meat, you can mix this in with the sauce as well for added protein.  Make a green salad to serve on the side and you have dinner on the table in less than 10 minutes.

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