Quick Cook Three Tomato Pasta Sauce

Quick Cook Three Tomato Pasta Sauce

by Gemma Seymour-Amper
19 November 2011

Serves 6-8

120 ml (1/2 c.) extra virgin olive oil
500 g chopped yellow onion
8 large cloves garlic, minced
240 ml (1 c.) unsalted beef stock (substitute vegetable stock for vegan)
2 envelopes (1/4 oz. each) Knox unflavored gelatin (if stock is not homemade) (omit for vegan)
1 T. beef stock concentrate (I use “Better Than Bouillon” brand) (substitute vegetable stock concentrate for vegan)
4 bay laurel leaves
500 g grape tomatoes, halved
500 g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 kg paste tomatoes, diced
a handful, or so, of fresh basil leaves, chopped
sea salt, to taste

In a large sauté pan, cook onions over medium-low heat in oil until well-browned/well-caramelized. Add garlic, and sauté a few more minutes. Add stock, gelatin, and stock concentrate, and stir to combine. Reduce until liquid is mostly gone. Add tomatoes and basil to pan, stir to combine, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring frequently, until tomatoes are softened and have released some of their juices. Season to taste with sea salt, and serve with pasta of your choice.

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NB: I am not explicitly tagging this one “vegan”, preferring to stick with “possibly vegan”, because this recipe was really designed for beef stock. You can substitute vegetable stock and vegetable stock concentrate, omitting the optional gelatin, but it’s just not going to have the same depth. It’ll be good, though, so feel free if veganism is your thing, or even if you just want a break from meat.

For this recipe, it is absolutely critical that the tomatoes be ripe. Make sure you leave them out of the refrigerator (never refrigerate tomatoes!) a few days before cooking, if you need to, seal them in a paper bag to help. If you can’t get decent tomatoes, by all means use canned.

Usually, the fresh grape tomatoes available here are pretty good, as are the cherry tomatoes, but my local supermarket has an excellent house label canned cherry tomatoes that they bring in from Italy, and canned paste tomatoes are easy to come by everywhere. Substitute a 15 oz. can for the 500 g of cherry tomatoes, and a 28 oz. can for the 1 kg of paste tomatoes. The measurements aren’t quite the same, but it’ll be fine. If it bugs you that much, make up the difference with extra grape tomatoes (another 250 g or so ought to do it).

In fact, the first version of this recipe used canned cherry and paste tomatoes with fresh grape tomatoes, so don’t feel bad. Everyone knows that the tomatoes in cans are better than what’s in the produce aisle unless you are very, very fortunate. Of course, for the best results, you’ll have to grow your own…

Until next time…XOXO, Gemma

The Seal of Yin-Haan