Thursday, March 10, 2011


Tomatoes are one of the things that excite me the most, whenever I go the market (In the rare occasions that I'm in the right country, and have money to do so) I end up with about 5Kg of tomatoes, because I can't help but buying some from every stand.

Here's a recipe for tomato sauce, along with a few variations.

Fresh tomato sauce:

- Lots of tomatoes, as many different kinds as you can get (when in Israel, I usually make it using 7 different types of tomatoes).
- 2 medium sized onions, sliced into thin half rings.
- 1 Tbs sugar.
- Dry chili (or  fresh).
- Sage, about 3 leaves will do.
- Basil, lots.
- 3 cloves of garlic.
- 2 Tbs Whiskey.

-Heat olive oil in  a large pan, add the chili and the onions. (roasting dry chillies make them more flavorful), after a few seconds add the sugar and sage.
-When the onions are browned, add the garlic. Meanwhile chop the tomatoes, (if they're cherry tomatoes slice into halves of quarters).
- Start adding the tomatoes, not all at once, you don't want them to generate too much water and cool the pan down, frying tomatoes should be done in high temperature. Add a batch, wait till it's starting to disintegrate, and add another one.
-Add the whiskey and cook for a bout 5 more minutes, until most of the tomatoes have disintegrated (the once added late will be more intact, this is good, gives the sauce a more interesting texture).
- Add the basil, you can either chop it or just tear it with your hands.
- Remove from fire.

* Variations:

Whenever I make this sauce, I add eggplant to it, here's what I do with it:

- Peel the eggplant, and slice it into 1.5cm thick slices.
- Arrange in a large bowl, covered in paper towels, to absorb the water. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- After about 30 minutes arrange the eggplant on a large pan, brush with olive oil. You can add thyme, rosemary, or fresh oregano.
- Roast for about 20 minutes, then turn them around and roast for 10 more minutes.
- Dice and add to sauce.

Another variation is adding avocado, I know it sounds weird, but its surprisingly good, I also add fresh hot green pepper sliced into thin rings, gives it a crunch and a great hot freshness.

Pizza sauce variation:

I prefer the pizza sauce to have more of a smoky flavor, and so I do two things differently:
- I like burning the onions, giving a charcoal feel to the sauce.
- Instead of using just fresh tomatoes, I replace some of them with canned ones (Italian) and also add tomato paste, these give it a slightly heavier feel.

That's is. I hope you'd enjoy it.

Coming up - a Foccacia and Pizza dough recipe.

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