Tag Archives: tomatoes

Recipe: The (Spaghetti) Sauce

28 Nov

Once upon a time, there was a man who would only eat regular Prego brand tomato sauce. You know, that stuff that tastes like ketchup with a few flakes of oregano and basil? Yeah, I don’t get it either, but he loved the stuff. So much so that when I was making this beautiful from scratch meat sauce, he requested that I pick up a jar of Prego for his pasta. Well, there was none to be had at the grocery store so he deigned to try ‘The Sauce’ and his life was forever changed for the better.

That story is mostly true (hi Chad) and while this sauce might not change your life forever, it’s got depth of flavour that the canned stuff can’t touch and if you make a double or triple batch and freeze it in portions, it’s just as easy.

The Sauce

1 pound of ground beef
3 Italian sausages, casings removed
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
3 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
3 teaspoons oregano
3 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sugar

In a large pot, heat the oil and add the onions, red pepper, salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and sweat it until it becomes fragrant. Add the ground beef and sausage and cook until brown. Add the remaining ingredients except for the sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for for an hour.

At this point those who prefer a smooth (vs. super chunky) sauce should break out their immersion blenders. Remove the bay leaf and whizz just enough to remove some of the large pieces. It should not be pureed.  Take this opportunity to taste the sauce and adjust the salt and add the sugar. You may need a bit more or less depending on how acidic the tomatoes are. Put the bay leaf back in.

Simmer at least another half hour but an additional hour and a half to two hours is ideal.

The sauce can be cooled and frozen for 6 months or more and reheated in the microwave. It also keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days.

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Recipe: Salsa Fresca

31 Aug

Mr. Bacon has been planting a garden for the past couple of years. It’s fantastic because it does cut down on the amount of produce we need to buy at the store. The downside is trying to figure out what to do with all of the bounty before it goes bad. If you’re like us and have a whack of roma, cherry or grape tomatoes to use up, you need to test this recipe out. I will swear on a pound of bacon that it’s better than Lone Star’s and theirs is damn good.

Salsa Fresca

3 cups of grape, cherry or roma tomatoes (if you’re using roma, take out the cores and cut into three pieces)
1 small white onion, peeled and quartered
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 lime
kosher salt to taste

In a food processor, add the onion and the diced jalapeno and whizz until the onion is at a fine dice stage. Toss in the cilantro (I just rip a handful off the bunch) and throw the tomatoes in on top. Pulse until you get the desired consistency but beware of over blending – you don’t want gazpacho.

Transfer the mixture into a bowl and squeeze in the lime. Salt liberally and stir. Let the salsa sit about 15 minutes for the flavour to marry.

Devour.