Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fast Tomato Sauce, p. 502

I love this sauce. I can make it while I wait for the water to boil for the pasta. Never will I need to buy the canned or jarred stuff anymore. I’ve made this sauce a couple of times before, but recently made it on a weeknight after a stressful day.

Following this recipe, Mr. Bittman gives 20 easy ways to vary or spice up the sauce. For this time, I think I combined three of the twenty.

2. Garlicy Tomato Sauce says to add 2-10 cloves of chopped garlic to the sauce. I added 4-5.

4. Tomato Suace with Aromatic Vegetables suggests to add 1/3 cup of carrot and celery when you add the onion. Since Bryan doesn’t like onion, and we had the other two on hand, I added those. I didn’t measure the quantities, I just did one carrot and one celery stalk.

Veggies and Garlic ready to go

5. Tomato Sauce with Wine says to add ¼ cup of white wine to the sauce before adding the tomatoes. I had probably ½ a cup or maybe a little more left over and since it was a stressful afternoon, I felt like a little booze might helps things. It always does.

Basically this is how I pulled this sauce together: melt some butter, add the garlic, celery, and carrots (you would add onions here if you are onion tolerant). Simmer for a little while. Add wine if you are and let it bubble for a few minutes.

Then add 1 lb of tomatoes. I had two diced tomato cans on hand, so that’s what I use. I don’t know what the pound-age was. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes while you get your pasta to cook. Viola! Homemade pasta sauce!

One of the variations suggested pureeing the sauce. I think that’s a great idea when you’ve got the chopped veggies in there. But I was lazy and didn’t feel like cleaning the food processor or adding another step. For pasta I cooked some frozen cheese ravioli I got at Sam’s and had on hand. I felt like the sauce was very fresh and not too heavy for a hot summer’s evening.


  1. Do you have a stick/immmersion blender? They're less than $20 at Target/Wal-Mart/Amazon, and perfect for times when you need to blend or puree something and don't want to make a big mess or go to a lot of trouble. Would be great for something like this sauce.

  2. My mom has recently fallen in love with the immersion blender. I put one on my birthday/Christmas wish list! I can't wait to try it blended.

  3. 1 lb is 16 ounces. Each can of tomato is 14.5 oz. So two cans of tomatoes are between 1.5 to 2 lbs as Mr. Bittman suggested. Two cans yield about 3.5 cups. This is the standard quantity for making tomato sauce for 4 servings. In some pasta recipes, Mr. Bittman only calls for two cups, such as all of the pastas with tomato sauce in p. 514 to 515, pasta with tomato-shrimp sauce, p. 528, need one to two more cups of tomatoes. Paul.