Saturday, March 6, 2010
Tomato Sauce with Onion and "Butter"
I came across a delightful little recipe for a super simple tomato sauce that made its way around the internet some time ago: Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter by Marcella Hazan. I was intrigued that it only has 3 main ingredients (tomatoes, onion and butter) and received rave reviews from everyone. So of course I had to make a vegan version.
You'll find the original recipe in the link above. Basically you take 1 large 28 oz tin of good tomatoes (don't settle for crappy cheap tomatoes*) smooshed up with the juice along with about 5 tbsp of your favourite vegan margarine (Earth Balance) and an onion** cut in half and throw that in a sauce pan. You can use unsalted vegan margarine and then salt to taste but I found that the salted margarine wasn't too salty for this. Anyway, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 45 mins, stirring occasionally. Then you take out the onion and serve over pasta.
Sounds too simple to be that good right? Wrong. It's incredible. Really! The combination of margarine, slowly cooked onion and tomatoes works so well that I wanted to just eat the sauce as is. I did deviate from the original in that I did throw in some roughly minced garlic. I also cut the onion into 8 wedges and left that in the final sauce. Next time I'll try it like the original — no garlic and take out the onion.
I served the sauce over thick homemade wheat pasta with basil since I was out of packaged pasta (and no semolina flour). Just 2 cups white flour with 1/4 cup soy flour, salt, basil, olive oil and about 3/4 cup boiling water. Mix and knead until smooth, cover and let sit for 30 mins. Then simply roll out, cut and let dry for a few minutes and then cook in boiling salted water until done. It's super easy and yummy, but it is a bit time consuming. Sometimes it's worth it though and the homemade pasta was awesome with this sauce.
And there you have it. A 3 ingredient sauce that folks all over rave about. I think that this sauce is going to become my go-to sauce around here since I always have those ingredients on hand. Now, this is NOT a low-fat sauce by any means but it's really good, and for me, worth the calories and fat. Give it a try!
* If all you have are cheaper mediocre canned tomatoes, you might want to add a sprinkle of sugar to the sauce when simmering.
** I was reading that quite a few chefs swear by not sauteeing onion or garlic in tomato sauces and letting it cook in the sauce itself for the best flavour. I think they're on to something because this tasted way better than any tomato sauce I've made with sauteed onions and garlic.