Advertisement

Homemade tomato sauce for everyone

June 16, 2009|By JUDY STARK / St. Petersburg Times

Joe Angelone grew up the only boy and the baby in a big Italian family. He learned to cook from scratch, taught by a dozen aunts and uncles. Now he cooks two or three times a week.

Once a month he makes a 4-gallon batch of tomato sauce and freezes it. The family serves it lots of ways: over spaghetti; in wife Nanette's eggplant lasagna; in a bowtie pasta and broccoli dish; or in anything that can be enhanced by a little red sauce.

The Angelones, of Clearwater, Fla., host all-out pasta fests, and on Christmas Day they're in the kitchen making lasagna, meatballs, spaghetti.

"The kitchen is always open," Nanette says, and their kids' friends all know they can turn up hungry and be fed anytime. (The kids: hers, Kelcey Duggan, 17, and Christopher Duggan, 18; and his, Joseph Angelone, 18.)

Advertisement

Joe is 45, a school-resource officer, part-time teacher of security-guard-license classes and active in dog rescue. Nanette is also 45, a paralegal, singer in a chorale and a dog-rescue activist.

The tomato-sauce "recipe is easy from the standpoint of making it, but it requires you to be around for a while," Nanette says. Joe cooks it a minimum of four hours, "not even bubbling, but sitting there, getting nice and warm and all the spices are blending. It makes a big difference."

If you don't give this sauce that long, slow treatment, "it tastes like spaghetti sauce out of a can." Bottled spaghetti sauce is outlawed in the Angelone household: "Joe will divorce me if I bring it in the house."




JOE ANGELONE'S TOMATO SAUCE



Nonstick pan spray
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced green pepper
4 cloves minced fresh garlic or 2 tablespoons minced bottled garlic
1 (28-ounce) can peeled Italian-style plum tomatoes
4 (28-ounce) cans tomato sauce (such as Hunt's; use no-salt-added if you can find it)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, plain or flavored, preferably no-salt-added
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine (use a dry wine such as sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio)
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Dash or two of garlic powder (not garlic salt)
2 (6-ounce) cans no-salt-added tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste

Spray the bottom of a large stockpot with pan spray, then add the olive oil. Place over medium-high heat and add the onion and green pepper, stirring to coat with oil. Cook until the onion is just translucent and tender.

Add garlic and stir for a minute or two, watching carefully so it doesn't burn.

Pull the stockpot off the burner. Lower the heat to medium and when the burner has adjusted, place the pot back on the burner and pour in the juice from the plum tomatoes. Crush the tomatoes in your hand, or crush them in a bowl with a fork, and add to the pot.

Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, broth and wine, and stir to combine.

Add all the spices and sugar, stir to combine, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes, uncovered.

Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and allow the sauce to cook for at least two hours (three to four hours is really better). Stir occasionally. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 gallons

Variations:

Use red wine instead of white for more depth and a fruitier flavor.

Add 1/2 cup or more of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese or both for cheese tomato sauce.

Add cooked ground meat for meat sauce.

Add lots of sliced mushrooms for a mushroom sauce. Saute the mushrooms first in extra-virgin olive oil, a little garlic and dry sherry or white wine, then add the mushrooms and the pan juices to the sauce.

Add mussels, clams, calamari or shrimp with some fire-roasted red peppers and a little crushed red pepper to taste for a seafood sauce.

Use the sauce as a base for penne alla vodka or other sauces such as Bolognese, marinara or vegetable.

The basic sauce is excellent in lasagna, eggplant Parmesan, baked ziti or on pizza because it isn't heavy or greasy.

(Judy Stark can be reached at stark@sptimes.com

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service www.scrippsnews.com )

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|