Last week we covered egg-based sauces, Hollandaise and tartar – this week it’s the turn of juicy red tomato-based sauces and first off is marinara sauce. While many theories abound as to the origin of this classic sauce, undisputed is that it first appeared in print in the late 17th century when Italian chef, Antonio Latini, included a version of it in his cookbook Lo Scalo alla Moderna (The Modern Steward).
The beauty of marinara is that not only is it simple to make – there really is no excuse for buying it ready-made, besides which who knows what’s been added to the store-bought varieties – but it also freezes well, and used as a base sauce, it can be transformed into a variety of other delicious dishes.
Courtesy of Food52, a site dedicated to helping people become better, smarter and happier cooks; here’s a delicious, cook-in-20-minutes recipe:
- Fresh ripe cherry or vine tomatoes – the redder and riper the better
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh herbs – parsley and basil
Finely chop the garlic – how much you use depends on the clove size and how intense you want the flavour to be. Dice your tomatoes, skins and all – if you’re using a larger, thicker-skinned tomato you’ll want to give them a quick blanch in boiling water to peel them before chopping.
Heat the olive oil and sauté your garlic over a low heat until it’s soft. Then add your tomatoes, turn up the heat and let the tomatoes cook until they’ve reduced and thickened slightly. At this point you can add the herbs – add them whole with leaves, stalks and all – they’ll poach in the sauce and you simply remove them at the end of the cooking process. Season with salt and pepper to taste and your marinara is ready. Enjoy in a variety of ways: on home-made pizza, in eggplant parmigiana, with mussels and shrimp for Seafood Marinara or simply on its own tossed with your favourite al dente pasta.
And now on to fresh tomato salsa which can be enjoyed as an accompaniment to practically any dish from fajitas, chilli con carne and Mexican corn chips to the classic bruschetta. For the simplest version try Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe featured on BBC Food.
- 500g ripe, full-flavoured tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Medium shallot or small red onion, finely chopped
- A squeeze of lemon or 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper
To prep the tomatoes, pour boiling water over them and leave for 30 seconds. Then peel, cut into quarters and remove the seeds. Dice the remaining tomato flesh, toss with the remaining ingredients and voilà you’re done.
To enjoy your marinara or salsa with a variety of meat or seafood dishes, be sure to contact N1 now to find out more about their extensive range of high-quality Halaal and non-Halaal products all prepared to your exacting standards.