Tomato sauce from your kitchen

I’m often asked about what kind or kinds of tomato sauce I use with my fresh pasta. The answer is as simple as it is complex: depends on the final dish taste I’m after. I’m a huge fan of any sauce that starts with the holy trinity of diced onion, carrot and celery. From there, it’s a free-for-all of whatever I have on hand and/or feel like making up as I go along.

Here is a great resource guide for those of you looking to find the right taste for your dish. I love the Marcella Hazan butter tomato sauce, but sometimes I will make basic sauce sans butter {gasp} so I can add a cream product instead. Don’t forget to read the very helpful comments on that post. Many great tips and thoughts by home cooks in that post.

I’m not big on garlic or marinara sauce because of what it does to my breath for the following week, but a small bit isn’t a bad thing as long as you find a way to add a lot of mint or parsley to the plated meal somehow. Parsley and mint have long been known as natural breath freshener. Or, as I like to call it, garlic breath canceller. It’s not just garnish you leave on the side of your finish plate, kids. Not at all. Use it! It really does work. Trust me.

5 thoughts on “Tomato sauce from your kitchen

  1. Natalie

    Huh! Since I’m relatively new to making sauces, much less pasta (I used canned for a very, very long time) is there anything you can say about making a pizza sauce vs. a pasta sauce? We’re making cauliflower crust pizzas at home lately and I’d rather make a good pizza sauce then have to go out and buy one. 🙂

  2. RebeccaJ

    Your mention of garlic brings up a question: when you cook with garlic…say a dish with garlic and hamburger…do you saute the garlic separately? or do you cook it with the hamburger?

    1. Stacey Post author

      Rebecca, garlic should ALWAYS be started on its own in a pan with some oil of some sort. You can add onions to it if you like, but it really shouldn’t be added to other ingredients to cook down before it’s had a chance to roast a bit. Roasting in an important step to bring out garlic’s full flavour. And really, if you’re going to the trouble of using garlic, why would you skip this step? If you’re not into roasting and taking the time for it, don’t use the garlic. That’s my rule. Capice? 😉

      1. RebeccaJ

        I kept forgetting to check for your response and I wanted to make something with garlic again, and FINALLY remembered I asked you about it! Coming from a German family, we were never really big on garlic, but I did read about other people sauteing the garlic, but I had no idea why….now I know!

  3. Stacey Post author

    Natalie, in our house, a pasta sauce is the same as a pizza sauce. Any sauce will do. Traditionally, when you order pizza out, the only red sauce used by pizza parlours is marinara. I’m not a fan of marinara. At all. Too much garlic and acidic aftertaste. Lately I have noted that even cheapo pizza huts like Pizza Pizza have caught onto this silly little trend called “options.”

    Now you can order pizza with any of these following base sauces:
    Buffalo and Blue Cheese Sauce
    Chipotle BBQ Sauce
    No Sauce
    Classic Tomato Sauce
    Bruschetta Sauce

    So, really, the point here is you can use anything as a sauce. You just have to nail down the flavour you want to start with and taste the most as you’re chewing bread, cheese, veg and probably some kind of meat. The sauce should be the dominate flavour, but one that compliments the toppings.

    The long and the short answer is, depends on how hard hitting you want your pizza to be. If you like a lot of zing, go with bold tasting ingredients like you’d find in a red sauce. If you like a mild palette like I do most nights, go with something unexpected like pesto or a nice white sauce.

    Whether or not to make your own vs buying? I’ll always make my own, but that’s because I have to control what I eat and keep it clean and unsulphited at all times. If you prefer store bought because of taste and convenience, go for it. No one can judge you on both counts. If they try, stop inviting them over for dinner. 😉

    Hope that helps.


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