Saturday, October 12, 2019
JOHN CHUCKMAN ORIGINAL RECIPE: MY BASIC RED SAUCE FOR MANY ITALIAN DISHES
MY BASIC RED SAUCE:
Use crushed canned tomatoes (two large cans), a generous addition of dry red wine, a couple of anchovies or equivalent anchovy paste, a small can of tomato paste, a finely chopped onion, a sprinkling of Basil, a small sprinkling of red chilies (only enough to hint - sauce is not to be hot), and a couple of tablespoons of sugar (I leave this out these days, but it is good for Eggplant Parmesan). A splash of olive oil in the pan. Bring to boil and simmer over low heat, covered, for maybe an hour.
Many variations are possible - certainly I often use a bit of chopped garlic - but this is a pretty satisfying general purpose sauce. You may substitute a can (or even both) of crushed tomatoes with diced, giving the sauce texture for some pastas. Of course, you can add a lot more chili flakes to make it hot which suits penne rigate. This is nice too with bits of sauteed spicy sausage.
Some always lightly saute onions and garlic first, but that isn't essential except in sauces which you simmer for only minutes, which is not the case here using wine. In simmering a longer time the ingredients literally will melt together.
One of my favorite versions is a Putanesca for spaghetti. Add some Kalamata olives and capers and substitute Oregano for Basil. You can throw various other ingredients into a Puttanesca sauce, as bits of sauteed sausage. A bit of diced green pepper is nice, but not for Eggplant Parmesan.
Best sauce to use for Eggplant Parmesan is the simple, somewhat sweet, basic.