Showing posts with label Tomato. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tomato. Show all posts

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pizza Sauce

I've been trying to get a few things made and in the freezer so we have quick meals when the baby girl arrives.  Trying being the key word.  So far I have two bags of chili, two enchilada casseroles, three pizza crusts and 10 bags of pizza sauce.  So, maybe I went a little overboard on the pizza sauce.  But, its the best homemade pizza sauce you'll ever find.  This sauce is thick, without being chunky, and the spices, garlic and onion meld to make an unbelievably rich and tasty sauce. I know I won't regret having extra on hand.

This sauce freezes well and can pulled out of the freezer in the morning and put in the fridge to thaw.  Or you can stick it in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes, for a quick de-thaw.  I freeze the sauce in one cup portions, which is the perfect amount for one 12-inch pizza.  No matter how you de-thaw it, it makes for a quick week night meal when paired with a super easy pizza dough I will be posting soon.

This recipe doubles, triples, quadruples (you get the point) easily.  So, make some extra to have for those weeknights when you just don't have the energy to cook...which is basically everyday for me right now!

Basic Pizza Sauce
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Makes about 2 1/2 cups, enough for 2 - 12" pizzas

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup onion, grated
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion, oregano and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Add tomatoes and sugar, bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 25-30 minutes.  Sauce should be reduced to about 2 1/2 cups at this point.

Remove sauce from heat and stir in basil and olive oil.  Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately on a pizza, or allow to cool completely and freeze for up to two months.  Either way, you are going to love it when you...


Monday, August 6, 2012

Cheesy Tomato Galette with Cornmeal Crust

I have been out of a cooking groove lately.  I don't fall asleep dreaming of the gourmet meals I'll be making over the weekend.  I don't salivate over every single thing I see on Pinterest.  I have a stack of cooking magazines I haven't touched in months and my recipe stand is collecting dust. While I have an awesome excuse for all of this, I really do miss cooking.  A lot.

My awesome excuse?  My awesome husband.  He is off of school for the summer, and home with Anna during the days while I trudge off to work.  I walk into the house every night after work to the most beautiful scene before my eyes...Mace preparing dinner, Anna by his side on her stool "helping" him.  Two sets of matching eyes, two vibrant smiles turning to greet me.  Swoon.

A couple times though, I have dusted off my apron and plunged into the kitchen to make one of my all-time favorite summer meals. I love the fresh produce and simple flavor combinations that come along with summer cooking. This galette is the perfect vehicle to showcase those gorgeous heirloom tomatoes that abound during the summer months.    The cornmeal crust replaces the heavy, buttery crust of traditional galettes and gives it a lightness perfect for these hot summer months.


Cheesy Tomato Galette with Cornmeal Crust

Adapted from Cooking Light
1 1/2 cups (200grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled in freezer 20 minutes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ice water

2 large heirloom tomatoes (or other fresh ripe tomato)
8 ounces (2 cups) mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup ricotta (homemade recipe here)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 ounces (1/2 cup) Parmesan cheese, shredded

To make the crust: Add flour, cornmeal, and salt to a food processor and pulse several times to combine.  Add butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal.  Turn the food processor on and slowly add the ice water until just combined (don't form a ball).  Dump mixture onto counter and gently form into a disk shape.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes and up to one day.

Preheat oven to 425F.

To make the filling: Slice the tomatoes approximately 1/4" thick, lay on a dry paper towel and lay another paper towel on top.  This will soak up excess water in the tomatoes and reduce the amount of excess moisture when the galette is baked.

Add the mozzarella, ricotta, basil salt and pepper in a medium bowl and stir to combine.  Set aside.

Roll crust on a lightly floured counter into a 14" circle.  Fold in half, then in half again and move to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.  Unfold crust.

Spread mozzarella mixture evenly on the crust, leaving a 2" border around the outside edge.  Top cheese with tomato slices, then Parmesan.  Gently fold edges of crust over all around, to partly cover filling.

Bake in middle rack of oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then cut into wedges and...


Friday, September 16, 2011

Fresh Pasta with Tomato & Mushroom Sauce

There is something about a simple Italian dish that makes life feel robust, full, delightful.  Especially when you share it with loved ones.  My brother, Zach, is in town this weekend and I am beyond excited to have someone to cook for and with for a few days.  In my usual fervor of anticipating a weekend of cooking, I started pouring over the recipes I have tucked away in the "to make someday" file.  This was the first one I busted out of my arsenal...simple, delicious, filling and let's just say, perfect.  Enjoy!



Fresh Pasta with Tomato & Mushroom Sauce

Adapted from la cucina italiana magazine


  • 1 leafy sprig rosemary
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  •  2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (28-ounce can) whole peeled tomatoes with 1/2 cup of their juices reserved
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound fresh field mushrooms (shitake, porcini, etc) roughly chopped
Pasta (yields 1 pound of dough)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 egg white, as needed


Remove leaves from rosemary sprig. In center of cutting board, mound rosemary leaves, parsley, garlic and thyme; finely chop together.
In a large skillet with lid, combine herb mixture, butter and oil; heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is foaming. Add tomatoes with 1/2 cup of their juices and salt; bring to a simmer and cook, breaking up tomatoes, for 5 minutes, then stir in mushrooms. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer, covered, until mushrooms are tender and sauce is flavorful, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the pasta.  Combine eggs, flour and oil in a food processor and pulse until it comes together in a cohesive mass.  If it doesn't come together add an additional egg white and pulse again.  Remove from the food processor and knead several times by hand on a lightly floured surface until the dough comes together in a ball.
Divide the dough into thirds, take one and cover the rest with plastic wrap.  With your dough ball in hand, run it through a pasta machine until you are at the thinnest setting the dough will take without ripping (on my Kitchenaid pasta maker this was a 7).  Repeat with additional dough balls.  You could potentially do this without a pasta maker but it will be hard to get the dough thin enough. 
Cut the pasta sheets into wide 2" strips with a pizza cutter.  You can leave these to dry on the counter until you cook them.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When sauce is very close to done, cook pasta in the boiling water.  Fresh pasta only needs about 2 minutes to cook, so don't overdo it.  Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Add sauce and toss to combine well. Season and serve immediately.