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FRESH TOMATO SAUCE

This is a super quick approach to making a fresh tomato sauce. I wouldn’t give it the credit of a pomodoro sauce but if you love the fresh flavors of tomatoes and basil, this is a great go-to recipe for all sorts of dishes. This will always taste better the next day just like most sauces do. Sure canned tomato sauce is great, but some companies add so much sugar and other crap in it that’s completely unnecessary. Not only that but you really can’t compare quality from fresh to canned. It’s a matter or preference and what you plan to make with the sauce.

One of my favorite quick meals to make with the sauce is slicing a smoked chicken Italian style sausage like Aidells, saute it in a large pan with some leeks and simmer the fresh tomato sauce in it. Serve over pasta. You’ll have tons for leftovers too. Feel free to add any other of your favorite fresh herbs like oregano, thyme, marjarom and rosemary. It’s that much more yummier!

 

Print Recipe
FRESH TOMATO SAUCE
serves well with 1lb of pasta
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and run it until everything is well combined.
  2. Pour the sauce into a pan over medium and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add more salt to taste.

HOMEMADE MARINARA

There is no need to keep buying pre-made jarred marinara when making your own is a no brainer! Trust me on this. If you’re like me and use marinara almost all year round for a multitude of things then this will make your life easier. You’ll also be happy knowing that your marinara isn’t loaded in added sugar and some other random crap that doesn’t belong in there. This recipe can make about two pint-sized mason jars and can store them for later use.

I use this marinara for my Braciole & Italian Sausage that many of you have gone crazy over. Even my Minestrone Soup and if you want in the Mediterranean Meatloaf! This is really the base for a lot of my tomato related sauces and other Italian dishes that I’ll be sharing in the coming days. But let this recipe again encourage you to take away and add the things you love most to make your very own version. Buon appetito!

Print Recipe
HOMEMADE MARINARA
Servings
pints
Ingredients
Servings
pints
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large spot, drizzle the bottom with olive oil and sauté the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, salt, and pepper for about 5 – 7 minutes.
  2. Add the basil, stir for a minute then add the can of crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir everything together thoroughly and let simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour or until it’s thickened. Stir every so often.
  3. Remove the bay leaf from the sauce and add more salt to taste.
Recipe Notes

If you like a more smooth texture to the marinara, you can cool it and pour the sauce into a blender or food processor to your desired texture. Make a day ahead for better flavor.

BRACIOLE & ITALIAN SAUSAGE

If there’s ever a meal that really brings back good memories of my childhood, it would be this one! There were so many years of family gathering around a long stretch of tables that flowed from the dining room and well into the living room hoarding some of the best Italian food there is. And among everything it was this particular dish that never failed to bring an already satisfied tummy just from the aromas to a starving existence. I’m telling you! Give yourself a weekend to enjoy your time in the kitchen with some family or friends to round these little bracioles together!

Slow cooking the Italian sausage for 8 hours draws all the natural fat from the pork and creates a hearty depth of flavor to the marinara sauce. And the sausage really melts in your mouth. The braciole becomes infused with all the flavors from the sauage, Marinara Sauce (try my homemade marinara for this recipe!) and it’s own stuffing; your taste buds may be a little overwhelmed with pleasure. I must admit… this is one of the many reasons why I would never turn back time and go back to my childhood. Because I would have to wait so long until the next time I can have this dish. Nowadays, if I want it… I can make it whenever I want to!

While I love sharing… this is a tough one to share because sometimes it’s fun to have little secrets and excite people. But honestly, I’m trying to share more and be a little less selfish in that regard. So please, try this some time. And hopefully it will spark some ideas for you to create your own in the future. Enjoy!


Print Recipe
BRACIOLE & ITALIAN SAUSAGE
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. If the meat isn’t already cut into individual pieces then go ahead and cut pieces that are about four inches long and 3 inches wide. Then pound each one thin with a meat tenderizer to about 1/4“ thick.
  2. In a bowl, combine the fresh basil, garlic, Italian bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, romano cheese, pepper, and salt together. Then using a spoonful of the mixture lay it down the center of each piece of meat.
  3. To roll the braciole together start at one end of the meat and roll it up tight using your fingers to catch any of the mix that may fall off pushing it back towards the center. Cut some cooking twine to tie around both ends firmly.
  4. With a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, drizzle the bottom with olive oil and sear the Italian sausage for a couple minutes on each side until the skin creates a crust. Transfer them onto a plate and set aside.
  5. Sear the braciole for two minutes on each side as well and put them on the plate.
  6. Cut the Italian sausage in half down the center and place them into a slow cooker set for 8 hours, along with the braciole and marinara sauce. Keep it covered the whole time.
  7. Let it slow cook for about 8 hours. Gently move the meat around a few times throughout the slow cooking process.
  8. Serve over pasta.