Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Alton Brown's Pantry Friendly Tomato Sauce

I caught this recipe on an episode of Good Eats and liked it quite a bit. It's pretty simple, but it had a lot of ingredients, which gave it an interesting flavor.


  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Prep and finish:

  • In a sieve over a medium non-reactive saucepot, strain the tomatoes of their juice into the sauce pot.
  • Add the sherry vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, oregano, and basil to the tomato juice.
  • Stir and cook over high heat.
  • Once bubbles begin to form on the surface, reduce to a simmer.
  • Allow liquid to reduce by 1/2 or until liquid has thickened to a loose syrup consistency.
  • Squeeze each tomato thoroughly to ensure most seeds are removed.
  • Set the tomatoes aside.
  • Cut carrot, onion, and celery into uniform sizes and combine with olive oil and garlic in a non-reactive roasting pan over low heat.
  • Sweat the mirepoix until the carrots are tender and the onion becomes translucent, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and capers to the roasting pan.
  • Place roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven and broil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  • Tomatoes should start to brown slightly on edges with light caramelization.
  • Remove the pan from the broiler.
  • Place the pan over 2 burners on the stove.
  • Add the white wine to the tomatoes and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes over medium heat.
  • Put the tomatoes into a deep pot or bowl and add the reduced tomato liquid to the tomatoes.
  • Blend to desired consistency and adjust seasoning.

Enjoy! I think a few substitutions might work.

  • Capers aren't something I usually have, so I was thinking mushrooms or maybe black olives or both.
  • Sherry vinegar is also something I don't always have, I wonder how balsalmic would work. I love it in a vinagrette in a Caprese Salad, so I might give that a try -- or maybe white wine or apple cider vinegar, I usually always have those.
  • The sugar did make it a little sweet for the rest of my crew, so I might trim that by half and maybe add a little chili powder with it. Going to have to experiment with that one.

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