Thursday, September 18, 2008
Make it Quick: 5 Minute Tomato Sauce
I love a good tomato sauce on pasta. The simpler the better. Earlier this year, I tried Delia Smith's sauce, made from fresh tomatoes. It is easy and delicious, but takes a lot of stove top simmering until it is done. A perfect cold weather recipe.
Cookbook author Heidi Swanson, of the vegetarian recipe blog 101 Cookbooks, makes some extravagant claims about the superiority of this recipe for tomato sauce. Not only that, she asserts that it can be thrown together in 5 minutes' time.
1. My crushed tomatoes, Hunt's Organic, were more of a puree in consistency. I would have preferred a less smooth texture.
2. I had a hard time getting the olive oil to incorporate with the tomato.
3. I used the zest from a very small lemon, and it was enough.
4. My sauce had a generous measuring of red pepper flakes, probably closer to 2 tsp., and had quite a kick.
5. The recipe is very quick; with the measuring and chopping, I'd say it took me 10-12 minutes. Can be made while the pasta water is coming to a boil.
6. I'd recommend that you zest your lemon away from the sauce pan. If you drop the lemon in the sauce while zesting, the sauce will splatter all over your kitchen. Trust me on this one.
This was a fantastic addition to my busy-day-dinner repertoire. I served it plain, over whole wheat spaghetti, with an arugula and parmesan salad and hot crusty Tuscan bread. My husband gives the sauce a 9 out of 10. I agree. Next time I will use crushed tomatoes with a more rustic texture.
I've frozen the remainder for future uses. mmm, food in the freezer is like money in the bank!
I can see why Heidi says this sauce "is the little black dress of my cooking repertoire." I will make it again and again, but I'm not sure it will completely supplant Delia's sauce (or my mother's tomato sauce recipe, for that matter). Also, I want to try Chez Pim's 15-Minute Tomato Sauce.