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Reed422

Red Sauce

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So I made a pizza over the weekend and the sauce came out extra good. It was cento san marzano, olive oil, garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme and a bit of water. I cooked the sauce cov with everything but the herbs in it for a hour covered. Then I uncovered and put the dried herbs in and reduced for about 15 minutes until it was the consistency that I wanted. I was highly impressed with this sauce. The major difference between this sauce and my usual is the addition of dry ingredients. Seems to add an extra element of complexity to it. Thoughts on dry vs. fresh herbs and spices?

 

P.S. I tried a new method of cooking the pizza and it ended up being more like flat bread pizza then a normal thin crust. If it aint broke don't fix it.

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Speaking for myself, I've found that making a really good, simple red sauce can be one of the most difficult things you can do. Most old Italian ladies have it down to a science. A few basic ingredients, with the key ingredient being, good tomatoes.

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Speaking for myself, I've found that making a really good, simple red sauce can be one of the most difficult things you can do. Most old Italian ladies have it down to a science. A few basic ingredients, with the key ingredient being, good tomatoes.

 

That is the key. A little onion. A little garlic. Some salt. Some pepper. That's it.

 

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That is the key. A little onion. A little garlic. Some salt. Some pepper. That's it.

 

Mine has a very good tomato sauce or puree as a base (no chunks) and no onion. Garlic in the oil just long enough to flavor it, then removed. A good shot of red wine, basil infused oil, and black pepper.

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Mine has a very good tomato sauce or puree as a base (no chunks) and no onion. Garlic in the oil just long enough to flavor it, then removed. A good shot of red wine, basil infused oil, and black pepper.

 

Sounds good. The simpler the better. It's about the tomato.

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Sounds good. The simpler the better. It's about the tomato.

 

With pizza, i enjoy being able to discern the ingredients. Good pizza shouldn't be a conglomerate of flavors. Its about being able to taste the crust, the tomato, the basil, the sausage, what have you. I think alot of pizza places even around the NYC area miss that point.

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For pizza, gotta agree with the above.

 

Yesterday I made a red sauce (oops, sorry "Sunday Gravy" for you moops) for meatballs, sausage and pasta. Onions, garlic, red peppers sauteed a bit in olive oil, then a couple bay leaves, some dried oregano and thyme, then a couple quart containers of San Marzano La Padima tomatoes that were grown in my garden this past summer (almost the last of them that are the freezer....think I have one quart left frozen and two quarts canned to last the rest of the year until about August.....:(), small can of tomato paste, some red wine, and a piece of beef shank that was roasted off in the oven first.

 

Came out :drool: for what I was using it for, but would be a bit much for a pizza sauce.

 

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Really depends on the herb. Oregano, marjoram, and thyme do well dried, with a somewhat different flavor than when they are fresh. (I grow all 3 in my garden, so use them both ways depending on the time of year.)

 

Rosemary can be okay either way, much better fresh though for most things. Sage is okay fresh or dried.

 

Tarragon I find actually to be better dried.

 

Cilantro, basil, dill leaf, and parsley, pretty much don't bother with dried. (Although with the cilantro - coriander, which is the seeds of the same plant and thus a spice as opposed to an herb, is fine dried, but coriander and cilantro have much different flavors anyway......same holds true for dill seed verses dill leaf.)

 

Most all spices (as opposed to herbs) are usually used in a dried state.

 

General rule is that you use 1/3 the amount of herbs when they are dried as you would use if they were fresh.

 

Garlic and onion powder - both certainly have their place for certain applications, but are much different than using the real thing.

 

Dried chive - don't know, don't have much experience with it.

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I use quite a bit of dried oregano especially in salads. I get it from a italian specialty store- imported from Sicily. You have to pull it off teh branches. Once you use that stuff you wont be able to go back to the dirt you get at the super. It makes a significant difference. Tough to beat fesh basil, but if you don't have any frozen works in a pinch...

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I learned my sauce from Spigola, its simple yet delicious. San Marzano crushed tomatoes (they are sweet), a diced onion, a couple cloves of garlic and salt and pepper. 15 minutes on the heat and your good to go. Its called "marinara", by definition a quickly prepared tomato sauce for sailors that didn't have the time to wait for hours of prep and cooking.

 

Spig is also a meatball expert. Ground chuck, some day old italian bread that you tear out the insides, an egg, some minced fresh garlic, and a handful of grated parigiano reggiano and your good to go. Some like to fry them first to get a crunchy outside or you can just do them in the oven.

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I learned my sauce from Spigola, its simple yet delicious. San Marzano crushed tomatoes (they are sweet), a diced onion, a couple cloves of garlic and salt and pepper. 15 minutes on the heat and your good to go. Its called "marinara", by definition a quickly prepared tomato sauce for sailors that didn't have the time to wait for hours of prep and cooking.

Spig is also a meatball expert. Ground chuck, some day old italian bread that you tear out the insides, an egg, some minced fresh garlic, and a handful of grated parigiano reggiano and your good to go. Some like to fry them first to get a crunchy outside or you can just do them in the oven.

 

Great sauce. Made it for pizza Friday only adjustments were adding dried Turkish oregano and used the immersion blender to smooth it out.

 

Fresh oregano doesn't have the depth of flavor of good dried oregano.

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"Paulie! Don't put too much onion in the sauce!"

 

Exactly. Too much and you might as well add some pancetta and make Amatrician.

 

For pizza it's tomatoes, garlic and basil, maybe some parsley. If I want onions I put them on the pizza.

 

I used to make a substantial red sauce. Sweated down a pile finely minced carrot. celery and onion and cooked it for hours with brown stock and red wine. Moop gravy, I guess, as Steve said. Haven't bothered for years. Found I like cherry tomatoes with garlic and toasted bread crumbs or just a few tomatoes out of the garden with a little garlic and basil. Or a raw tomato sauce with anchovies, olives and capers. Too many choices.

.

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I learned my sauce from Spigola, its simple yet delicious. San Marzano crushed tomatoes (they are sweet), a diced onion, a couple cloves of garlic and salt and pepper. 15 minutes on the heat and your good to go. Its called "marinara", by definition a quickly prepared tomato sauce for sailors that didn't have the time to wait for hours of prep and cooking.

Spig is also a meatball expert. Ground chuck, some day old italian bread that you tear out the insides, an egg, some minced fresh garlic, and a handful of grated parigiano reggiano and your good to go. Some like to fry them first to get a crunchy outside or you can just do them in the oven.

 

That's it. Keep it simple.

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