Friday, September 9, 2011

Red Wine, Brandy Tomato Sauce

This recipe has been refined over the last few years and provides a good foundation for improvisation.  Red wine and tomato sauce are made for each other.   Many a sauce or marinade can be improved with the careful application of wine beer or liquor.  This sauce can be used for countless dishes.  Ingredients follow:        

Tomato Sauce Ingredients, pearl onions pictured because I ran out of large onions
4 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Carrots
1 large Onion
½ Red Bell Pepper
6 - 8 Garlic Cloves
1 cup red wine
7 Cups Tomato Juice
3 Tbs Brandy
2 Tbs Turbinado Sugar
1 Lemon
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Dice the carrots, onions, and bell peppers and saute in the olive oil in a large pot for 10 - 15 minutes.  Mince the garlic and add along with a few sprigs fresh thyme, basil, and oregano.  Saute for a further minute.  Add the red wine and simmer until reduced by half.  Be careful not to drink all the wine now that it is opened, save some for the meal.  Add tomato juice, salt and pepper and cook on low heat for 20 - 40 minutes or until reduced to the desired consistency.  Add the Brandy, Sugar, and the juice of the lemon.  Cook for 4 or 5 more minutes.  Blend the ingredients for 2 minutes and enjoy!

Tomato sauce and spaghetti.
Now for a note on ingredients and recipes in general.  Recipes are generic, ingredients are unique and so are you.  Improvise and taste your ingredients and sauce along the way.  Every ingredient serves a different purpose, know what they do and you will be a regular pro in the kitchen.  With respect to tomato sauces I always remove the skins and seeds from the tomatoes, the odd looking metal contraption in the picture does a great job.  Seeds can add a bitter taste if blended.  The lemon acts as a preservative to extend the life of the sauce and the sugar offsets the bitter taste of the lemon.        

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