tomatosauce

Tomato sauces are common for meat and vegetables, but they are perhaps best known as sauces for pasta dishes.

In countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom, the term “tomato sauce” is used to describe a condiment similar to that known in the United States as ‘ketchup’. In some of these countries, both terms are used for the condiment.

Sauce tomate is one of the five mother sauces of classical French cooking. It consists of salt belly of pork, onions, bay leaves, thyme, tomato purée or fresh tomatoes, roux, garlic, salt, sugar, and pepper. Many times, butter and flour will be listed in the ingredients, but those are only used to make the roux (thickening agent).

Here is a simple tomato sauce recipe which is great for lasagna.

What you need:

* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* 1 carrot, chopped
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 30 ounces crushed tomatoes
* 2 dried bay leaves
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

What you do:

In a large casserole pot heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Add 1/2 the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

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