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Tomato Sauce Base - The art of Thornwolf — LiveJournal
Tomato Sauce Base
skorzy and I took some time this weekend to make some sauce base out of the monster beefmasters he had. I figured I'd share the recipe and the process with you all.


This is Alton Brown's tomato sauce recipe and is originally intended for Roma tomatoes which are typically used for things like this (and have a more finished flavor) but since we're using beefmasters, we've used this recipe as merely a base as the flavor is a lot lighter. The difference being, its a basic neutral sauce we can doctor up later with flavors such as basil or Italian spices depending on the dish, essentially making it so we can have most of the spice work done and make minimum additions per dish. Pretty much what you do with jarred sauce from the store, but a lot more basic and needing more customization. It might be a lot of work to some folks but we enjoy it so it works for us.

* 20 Roma tomatoes (this is what the original recipe calls for, obviously we used our beefmasters here), halved and seeded
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon pepper
* 1 cup finely diced onion
* 2 teaspoons minced garlic
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano leaves
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme leaves
* 1 cup white wine

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

We doubled this recipe since we had 2 trays of tomatoes, so that explains the quantity.

Halved and seeded and laid on the tray skin side down

Add olive oil

Salt and pepper

Add onions (we were able to give each tomato its own little "onion hat" and put the slivers inside the tomato itself for better coverage)

Add garlic, oregano and thyme

Bake at 325 for 2 hours. Check after the first hour and lower the temperature if it looks like they're cooking too fast. At the end of the 2 hours, raise the temp to 400 and bake for an additional 30 minutes

Now, the recipe says to put the tomatoes through a food mill and separate the skin from the rest of it, but unfortunately we don't have a food mill. We tried to remove the skins by hand and that was rather difficult so eventually we just said "ah screw it" and put the whole thing in the blender. Probably not the best, but it tastes fine, and I've done it before this way with beefmasters. The original recipe calls for romas which have a way thicker and fibrous skin whereas the beefmasters are a very thin skinned tomato. See skorzy's comment below for more details. Try to avoid putting the charred pieces in there though because that is "Not Good Eats" as Alton would say. Most of the skin we left on had that nice smokeyness to it anyways, so, meh! Put the blended mixture into a large pot.

Add your white wine, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes

And there you have it. We made almost a gallon of sauce from just a few of these tomatoes, ready for customization. Tonight we're going to try a mushroom/basil variation with our premade base, then freeze the rest. We still have tons of tomatoes left. I'm likely going to preserve some (blanched, peeled and frozen) and also make bruschetta for myself this week.


15 comments or Leave a comment
skorzy From: skorzy Date: August 29th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
With regards to the "removing the tomato skins", I think it depends on the type of tomato you're using. Romas have thicker, tougher skins than the Beefmasters. If you blended the Roma skins, you'd have a stringy, unappetizing texture throughout the sauce. Beefmaster skins are very thin. Cooking them as long as we did softened them up so much they blended until we couldn't see them anymore.

Also.. tomato skins are loaded with good antioxidants like lycopene. Retaining and extracting that phytochemical is beneficial!

Edited at 2010-08-29 07:48 pm (UTC)
cesarin From: cesarin Date: August 29th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
that sounds really tasty, what is the salsa for?
used for pasta or general soup?

also these recently made tomatoes (frmo the hoven) reminds me of the recipe for BRUSSHETA.

Edited at 2010-08-29 09:46 pm (UTC)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 30th, 2010 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Just a tomato sauce base for pasta, or maybe even a casserole or something. Italian. Although honestly if I added cream and some basil I could likely make this into a nice tomato bisque.

I don't bake the tomatoes for bruschetta I make (I don't think you're supposed to?) I just cube em up with some cubed mozzerella, some basil, salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and let it sit for an hour or so so the vinegar has time to break down the tomato and seep into it. REALLY good.
cesarin From: cesarin Date: August 30th, 2010 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
well, I have no idea honestly, because the restaurant I worked over here .. really requires hoven time.they really taste good when hot.

thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 30th, 2010 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Must be just roasted tomatoes then? Cuz I agree, roasted tomatoes just taste damn good.

I dunno, every bruschetta tomato dish I've had has been raw tomatoes broken down in balsamic vinegar, but I won't say no to roasted tomatoes on toast that's for sure!
cesarin From: cesarin Date: August 30th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)
nope, it was called brusheta... honestly it was like.. 7 years ago, so I might be wrong, anyway it was served over italian bread.

tomatoes with garlic, a bit of onions, oregano, spices, and then cheese. then to the hoven until they're just like your photo up there.. and damn you, I'm hungry now XD
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 30th, 2010 03:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Mmmm that sounds yummy.

Well. I know what I'm making for lunch this week XD *tummy rumbles!*
pac From: pac Date: August 29th, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh my god i'm so hungry now :C
selunca From: selunca Date: August 30th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC) (Link)
OMG, thats such a wonderfully rich looking sauce. I'm so jealous! Have you tried it yet?
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 30th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Not yet. We got lazy tonight and went out to dinner XD We'll be trying it next weekend though. I'm making skorzy make his meatballs he made last time. :9

I tasted it as we were transferring it into the tupperware. It tastes like a base..that is, needs some work, but tastes good as a starting point.
mythos_amante From: mythos_amante Date: August 30th, 2010 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)
OH YUM! That looks DELISH!!
stormr_d From: stormr_d Date: August 30th, 2010 06:59 am (UTC) (Link)
When our tomato plant explodes I like to make Shakshouka-its a really yummy almost comfort time food thats really hearty. I learned about it/to make it from a friend from Isreal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakshouka if its to your tastes thats what it is theres different recipes for it everywhere so there are several different ways to make it none are the same :)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 30th, 2010 08:09 am (UTC) (Link)
calicougar had mentioned poached eggs and tomatoes as well, I didn't know it was this dish though. I love poached eggs (my favorite way to have an egg) and cooked tomatoes separately, I never thought of having them together.

Now that there's two reccommendations I may have to try it :)
doc_halfmoon From: doc_halfmoon Date: August 30th, 2010 10:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting!!! Looks tasty too ... I've never seen a sauce blended like that; I'd say that an unusual process to me, but the most important thing is a good result, right? ;D

There's a LOT of onion there!!! I'd be curious to try some on its own: There're so many different kinds of onions and, even if we're using the same kind, it differs from region to region.

I think I should post some new recipes too! :) Once I invented my own sauce, then I discovered that a great-aunt of mine used to do something similar when my father was younger ... blood will out! XD
foxfeather From: foxfeather Date: August 30th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yum, yum, yum!! Thank you for sharing. :) I can't wait until we have a place where we can actually grow things!!
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