Friday, January 25, 2008

Marinara Sauce

After nailing down the Chopping Block tomato sauce recipe, I wanted to try another approach. This time, I used the Eastside Cafe recipe from Inside the Eastside which billed itself as a marninara.

As I might have expected, this was very heavy on the fresh herbs. This reinforced my desire to plant a ton this summer. It also called for canned peeled tomatoes, an option in the Chopping Block recipe and, in fact, what we used in class. I was shocked to discover, when checking out, that even those have huge amounts of sodium in them. If you use those instead of fresh in your homemade sauce, it has just about as much as the jarred stuff, pretty much wiping away one of the main points I had.

I went ahead and made it, just to follow it literally the first time. My initial reaction was that it was definitely spicier, as one might expect when cayenne becomes an ingredient. Also, that hint of wine flavor was replaced by the sweetness of the herbs. It did come out a similar color to the other batches.

So, it's clearly different, but very tasty in its own right. I'll just have to switch to fresh tomatoes. I never thought that I would ever plant them myself, but it's starting to look like I'll need to if I really want a truly fresh taste (well, duh) without the sodium from processed foods.

I had the pleasure of having Linzie as my instructor for the Seafood 101 class right before I made this. As she was also my Sauces 101 instructor, I asked her about the orangeness of the first two attempts. One thought she had was that the immersion blender was adding air that would make it paler. I'm not convinced. Also, I think that I may have overstated the orangeness without having an example to show.

I've heard folks say they use tomato paste in their sauce, so that may be how they get that dark red color. I think I'd like to avoid that, though, because it feels a little like cheating but also, you get right back into that sodium trap.

(recipe to be scanned and posted soon)

1 comment:

Anita said...

Mmmmmm, thyme and tarragon. I love 'em both, but don't use either one often enough. You are inspiring me to experiment more. Thanks, I think.