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Basic Tomato Sauces

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    Basic Tomato Sauces

    I would like to make some basic sauces such as spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, sloppy joe sauce. What are some simple recipies for this?
    And, there are alot of canned tomato products such as paste, stewed, diced, whole, seasoned, etc. Not sure when to use one product over another. When would I choose paste over sauce, etc?

    Re: Basic Tomato Sauces

    BASIC spaghetti sauce (alter as desired)

    2 tbsp salad oil
    1 medium onion, diced
    1 medium garlic clove, minced
    2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
    1 12 oz can tomato paste
    2 tsp brown sugar
    2 tbsp chopped parsley
    1 tsp oregano leaves
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cracked pepper
    1 bay leaf

    Cook onion and garlic in oil until tender, about 10 minutes, add everything else, heat to boiling, reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer at least 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

    BASIC MEAT sauce (alter as desired)

    2 tbsp oliv oil
    1 lb ground beef
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 medium garlic clove, minced
    1 16 oz can tomatos (i like diced)
    1 12 oz can tomato paste
    4 tsp sugar
    2 tsp oregano leaves
    1 3/4 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp cayenne (red) pepper
    1 bay leaf

    Fry beef in hot oil, crumbling, until browned; drain. add onion and garlic and fry until tender, about 10 minutes. add everything else, heat to boiling, reduce heat to medium-low; partially cover and simmer at least 35 minutes until thickened. Discard bay leaf.

    2 tbsp olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 16-oz. can tomatoes
    1 6 oz. can tomato paste
    1 tbsp sugar
    2 tsp basil
    1 1/2 tsp salt

    In oil, cook garlic and onion. Stir in everything else, reduce heat to low; cover; simmer up to one hour until thickened.

    2 lbs. ground beef
    2 tbsp margarine
    1 medium onion, minced
    2 tbsp vinegar
    2 tbsp brown sugar
    1 14 oz. bottle ketchup
    2 tbsp. steak sauce
    1/2 tsp. dry mustard
    1 c. chopped celery
    salt and pepper

    Brown beef in margarine. Add 1 cup water and remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.

    Those are very basic. I use different ones for lasagna, pasta, raviolli, etc.

    Paste versus sauce...sauce is just that, similar to canned soup. Has quite a bit of liquid in it, good overall base. Paste is very thick, no real liquid, for when you want the flavor of tomato but not the liquid. They are often used in combination to give a more intense, richer, tomato flavored sauce, especially when meat or something that needs more intensity to balance it. Make sense? Mom is SO much better at describing these things.


      Re: Basic Tomato Sauces

      If you want BASIC sloppy joe sauce, use my mom's old recipie:

      Brown 1 lb. ground beef with some onion.

      Squeeze in ketchup to taste.

      Squirt a touch of yellow mustard in there.

      If you have some sweet or dill relish, drop in a spoonful.

      Tastes good with nacho cheese Doritos!



        Re: Basic Tomato Sauces

        Flash has given us some good recipes, thanks.

        It will soon be time for fresh tomatoes. I like to make homemade salsa. Chop up tomatoes, bell pepper, hot pepper, add a little lemon juice and a little garlic. I don't have a recipe, I just mix them together.

        My very first tomato out of the garden is for a "Sink Sandwich" Two pieces of white bread smeared thick with mayo, and a whole sliced tomato. It is so good and messy that I have to stand over the sink to eat it.

        I just tried a recipe from an earlier posting.

        1 can of tomato paste
        4 cans of water
        Use a quart jar, add both ingredients and shake, shake, shake. Stick in the fridge until well chilled. Can add a little hot sauce. Store bought juice is loaded with salt. This is not.


          Re: Basic Tomato Sauces

          i add shredded zucchini into all of my pasta sauces... it adds more body and flavor....


            my favorite tomato sauce was born out of necessity... i was cooking for myself and about a dozen friends, but forgot to buy spaghetti sauce... thankfully, i found all of the following in the cupboards, and it turned out WONDERFULLY. Note, however, that I don't have a recipe... it's all done by taste, desired consistency, etc., so it's VERY flexible

            Tomato sauce
            Tomato paste
            Crushed tomato
            Diced tomato
            Threw a couple cans of each in a big pot started stirring, then I went crazy with my herbs/spices:
            Bay leaves (crushed)
            Italian Seasoning (plenty)
            Garlic powder and minced garlic (lots of it)
            Chopped, fresh onions, garlic cloves, and carrots
            Then I dealt with the consistency:
            water (for thinner sauce)
            corn starch (for thicker sauce)
            Heat it thoroughly, and serve it over/in whatever you like.

            and that was about it... it was by far one of the best sauces i've ever tasted, let alone made myself. Everybody loved it, and now I use that "recipe" as my base for any tomato sauce I need... no more bottled stuff for me (though I suppose bottled sauces would serve as a good base this recipe as well...)
            "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"


              Do you find these recipies save you any money? The cost of the canned tomato products seems to be as costly by the time you add the extras as buying the sauce already made.


                In the long run, yes, because I buy the big cans (16, 20, or more ounces, can't remember), make a whole lot of it, then freeze it with ice cube trays to store in ziploc bags. It lasts quite a while that way, and over time, buying $12 of tomato products which lasts a month costs less for me than a bunch of $3 bottles of sauce which are good for 1 or 2 dinners.

                Besides, I love to cook, and feel that it would be worth an extra $1-$2/month to be able to make something myself, if that was the case. There are limits/exceptions to this (applesauce for example), but normally, something you cook yourself will be cheaper. If store-bought actually would be cheaper, in most cases I find more value in cooking it myself anyway, because it's fun, fewer preservatives, and I get to be proud of my own cooking.
                "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"


                  something you cook yourself will be cheaper

                  If it tastes good and you enjoy it then that is important. But, from a cost standpoint, sometimes buying a "premade" item is cheaper. Applesauce is a great example as I have no intention to peel a bunch of apples and make homemade sauce. But, I do enjoy making many other homemade things though I also realize that homemade is not always the cheapest route.


                    yea, totally agree... alot of times what i'll do is go half-way homemade... I let someone else do part of the work (preparing the tomatoes, to keep with this example), then I buy the canned/packaged/whatever stuff and use that as my ingredients. Works pretty well, and like we've both said, normally takes cost down a bit.
                    "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"


                      Does anyone have a good tomato basil recipe? I've tried a bunch!


                        like a soup? or sauce? With sauces at least, as i sort of mentioned in my 'recipe' above, you can generally make the sauce base however you like, then seasoning it is what differentiates between them.

                        In any case, basil is finicky. The biggest thing to remember with basil is that fresh is always more flavorful, and you should only add it at the very end. Cooking basil ruins the flavor, so it should only go in right before you take it off the stove.

                        Also look at using combinations of seasoning to get the desired taste. I can't think of what it is right now, but I know that if you combine basil with another herb, you'll actually get a stronger basil flavor than just doing basil alone.
                        "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"


                          Anyone ever tried the dry Tuna fish sauce?
                          Sun dried tuna with mustard oil
                          1 tbsp of salt, a pinch of black pepper, juice of onion and garlic in vinegar.
                          Black cardamom powder.

                          serve to taste.


                            Thanks for this post.