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Pic Courtesy taste.com.au

Pic Courtesy taste.com.au

Here’s a sauce recipe that can be used across many different meals and is great for us that live alone as it is a good way to get in your veggies.

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • sugar
  • chilli powder
  • paprika
  • garlic
  • onion
  • carrot
  • capsicum
  • zucchini
  • celery
  • tomato
  • wine
  • tomato paste
  • stock cube
  • stock or water
  • parsley or basil or both

Method

All your veggies can be very coarsely chopped as I use a stick blender to finish the sauce. Stick blenders are great, simple to use and easy to clean not like all of those fancy ones you see advertised on TV.  The carrot needs to be peeled. I worked with a girl named Karen who was a chef and she did her training in Paris. Karen told me always peel carrots.

In a deep sided pot add the oil and place on a medium heat. It is important that this sauce never gets too hot as we don’t want to lose the vitamins. Think along the line that we are going to sweat the veggies down  rather than saute. The pot also needs to have a lid as we are going to capture most of the fluid that comes off during the cook.

Add the garlic chilli and paprika. Gently cook for a few minutes, then the onion, then the carrot, capsicum, celery and zucchini last. Think like this, hard veggies first, softer ones last. Stir occasionally adding the veggies one at a time over around 10 minutes.

Put the lid on and turn the heat down to low and cook for around 10 to 15 minutes.

Now add fluid. I use tinned tomatoes usually two cans, tomato paste, some white wine, a stock cube and the sugar. Mix through. Now add a bit more water/stock/wine so everything is covered, sometimes up to half a cup. Don’t over add fluid as if you need to simmer this down to thicken some of the goodness in those veggies will be lost.  Lid back on, low heat, 10 to 15 minutes.  Turn the heat off and leave the lid on till all the steam has stopped. I have a Scanpan pot, approximately 25 cm wide and 15cm deep with a transparent lid which makes it easier to gauge but allow say another 15 minutes.

Add the parsley or basil. With your stick blender pulse the sauce in the pot and stir. By this I mean, blend for 2 to 3 seconds. Then using the blender as a stirrer, stir the sauce. This causes chunks to rise. As a chunk comes to the top, pulse that site for 2 or 3 seconds.  Do this till you get a good consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. I always use iodised salt as iodine is a very difficult trace element to get in your diet.

Now, you don’t want the sauce to resemble soup so it is better to under blend then over blend. It needs to retain some body however with all the veggies well chopped.  Cool. Portion. Freeze. This usually makes up to eight portions by using 2 x440 tins of diced tomatoes and one of every vegetable.

I use this sauce on pizza, meatballs, chicken pieces and prawns. Beautiful with pasta and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

 This sauce costs me about ten bucks to make plus elbow grease. Enjoy.

Warning: Sometimes I cook the sauce a bit longer with the lid off to thicken or if I have added the meatballs or chicken pieces – usually thighs.  ( If added these take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook). Once blended this sauce “pops” especially if the heat is too high. If you cook the sauce for whatever reason with the lid off get it onto the lowest heat possible. I learnt the hard way and had to clean up sauce that ended up all over the place.

First published: http://hungsworld.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/hoos-wide-world-of-sauce/