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  1. #1
    Neo
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    Basic Italian pasta sauce.

    This was shown to me by an Italian chef, and is the staple diet for many Italians, it's cheap, easy, quick and very tasty. You should be able to make it in 15 minutes. It's enough for one on it's own and plenty for two if you add bread and a side salad.

    Ingredients:
    Olive oil
    One medium onion finely chopped. (or 2 shallottes)
    Half a can of peeled chopped tomatos (or 12 cherry tomatoes skinned and chopped)
    Large clove of garlic, peeled and crushed. (not minced)
    Dry Italian seasoning (or fresh basil and oregano chopped)
    Black pepper
    Tomato paste
    Lemon juice
    Cream cheese (Laughing Cow, Phillidelphia or similar)
    Pasta (large Penne or shells work best)


    Put the kettle on for your pasta water. Heat a glug of olive oil, add the onion and garlic,
    fry on a medium heat until the onions are soft and golden.

    Add the tomato, give it a good squirt of lemon juice to bring out the flavour. Add the seasoning, if it's dry you want to get it in now so it's not still woody when you eat it, give it a good blast of ground black pepper.

    Get the pasta on and simmer the sauce to reduce the water content.

    After a couple of minutes it will start to reduce, add some /tomato paste to boost the flavour and thicken it. Taste and add seasoning if you need it, if you gave it plenty earlier you'll be ok, you don't really want to add dry herbs now.

    After another minute or two take out the garlic and add the cream cheese,
    it doesn't make it taste cheesy but it gives it a really smooth taste and texture.

    Reduce the heat and once it's all melted it gives it this lovely golden colour.
    Be sure to add a drizzle of olive oil for flavour and to blend everything together,
    give it a final stir and switch the heat off.

    When the pasta is ready, drain it and then put it back in the pan,
    add the sauce and mix it in well.

    And then... enjoy.


    My lunch today. Cheers.
    Last edited by Neo; 06-06-2011 at 09:00 PM.
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

  2. #2
    sabaii sabaii
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    Looks nice bud,

    I will give that a shot, think I'll add some minced meat to it and some garlic bread

  3. #3
    Neo
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    Yeah that's it, it's a basic sauce and the flavour is subtle, good on it's own or throw in what you want. Anchovies or a bit of canned tuna is really tasty.

  4. #4
    Molecular Mixup
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    looks nice the ones I have tried in the jars are laden with salt, this looks more healthy

  5. #5
    Neo
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    Totally, the ones in jars are not very subtle either. I just do it myself and it's nice to get it just right, it's very easy. Much cheaper too. Enjoy.

  6. #6
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    Typical supermarket can, tube and bottle recipe.

    You might find it better with the fresh ingredients (lemon, herbs, tomatoes and ricotta cheese), the onion "finely" sliced and simmered for a little longer that 15 minutes. A little nutmeg also adds more depth.

  7. #7
    Neo
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Typical supermarket can, tube and bottle recipe.
    Shown to me by an Italian chef.. though his is undoubtedly better.

    These are the ingredients I had in the fridge, but if I have fresh ingredients I use them and add the herbs a bit later, to be honest though the canned tomatoes are just as good and less hassle, just a lot more water content, if you can get cherry tomatoes with very soft skins it's great you can just chop them up and get them in there, otherwise you have to blanch and peel them, a lot of messing about for a quick meal. Also I prefer shallottes to onions just didn't have any today, the taste is a bit better and they're not as tough although I still can't get them finely chopped, but ten to 15 minutes cooking time is all it should take, quick and easy. Thats the nice thing about making your own pasta sauce you can add to it to suit your own taste.
    Last edited by Neo; 07-06-2011 at 07:10 AM. Reason: spilleng

  8. #8
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    Here's another.
    heat some cream (milk will do) in a saucepan pan, lightly brown some finely chopped onion in olive oil and add to the milk, add some herbs same as neo and a little fine chopped parsley as well.
    Salt and black pepper,
    chop up some garlic and throw it in. add some grated cheese (cheddar is fine), sift in some flour to thicken if necessary, add a little milk to thin if necessary.
    Meanwhile dice up and fry some lean bacon. (this can be done at any point.)
    Throw that in the saucepan. mix it all up and allow to simmer and thicken.
    Add to pasta.
    I always say 'some' because it's a matter of taste.
    Like it cheesy? add more cheese.
    Like it salty? add more salt.
    (etc)

  9. #9
    sabaii sabaii
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    ^ Can imagine some people on here like it extra salty and cheesy

  10. #10
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    I dont understand the part about one clove of garlic and then removing it. Perhaps we the family just love the taste of garlic too much.

    Pretty nice though and I too serve a rich sauce like that with Penne.

  11. #11
    Neo
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    You can still taste the garlic, but it doesn't overpower the other flavours. And your breath isn't too bad after!

  12. #12
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    mmmm garlic breath!

  13. #13
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    Yup, I was a bit perplexed about removing the garlic. and I would probably have used fresh ingredients and MORE garlic.

    Still, looks good. And we all have those ingredients in our cupboards.

  14. #14
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    I made it tonight and really enjoyed it. Served it with some chicken breasts dredged in bread crumbs and herbs and fried until golden brown.
    When I make it again I will omit the lemon juice. In my opinion that ingredient takes the dish out of balance. Tomatoes are tart enough without the extra acid.

  15. #15
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    I never remove the garlic and always add several more pieces. My wife and I both love garlic so no problem with breath and so forth. We just chop up tomatoes and throw them in the pot skin and all. Peeling a tomato is a waste of time and good food. The rest of the information sounds great and looks great. Good food.

  16. #16
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    Couple of things Neo,if I may be so bold.
    First, you have a tube of tomato "puree" and not "paste". The paste would be more intense in the tomato flavour as its more reduced than the puree.
    Second, "cream cheese"? Turns the look of the sauce a little yellow,not the rich red tomato based italian sauce. Also would boost the calory content a fair bit.
    I would have tossed in a small handful of black peppercorns and a bayleaf or two. Well, thats what my exwife as a half breed Sicilian would have ordered me to do. Something good came out of the 28 years of sharp tongue.
    Still, the recipe made my jowls wet.

    Now, I have to get down to Foodland and scrape something similar up .

  17. #17
    Member zeusbheld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh
    Typical supermarket can, tube and bottle recipe.
    canned tomatoes from Italy are a LOT more flavorful than the fresh, local ones available in supermarkets. local tomatoes are fine for somtam but not tomato sauce.

    as far as the recipe goes, looks good enough but i don't get the cream cheese. also, butter or something neutral like vegetable oil may be a better choice if you're using cheese with it.

  18. #18
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    i like to spice mine up a bit
    with red chilli.
    fresh garlic, immmm.

  19. #19
    Neo
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeusbheld View Post
    as far as the recipe goes, looks good enough but i don't get the cream cheese.
    You won't.. until you try it A good dollop of Philadelphia or Laughing Cow.

    A pasta sauce is a personal preference and open to interpretation.
    I only blanch the garlic rather than press it, because I don't want garlic breath for the rest of the day, and the cheese as well as adding flavour takes out any sharpness and adds a creamy thickness to the sauce.

    Don't forget some fresh Ciabatta to mop it up.

  20. #20
    Member zeusbheld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo
    You won't.. until you try it A good dollop of Philadelphia or Laughing Cow.
    fair point. i'll give it a go one of these days.
    Quote Originally Posted by Neo
    A pasta sauce is a personal preference and open to interpretation.
    too true.
    Quote Originally Posted by Neo
    I only blanch the garlic rather than press it,
    i would NEVER press garlic but then i'm inordinately fond of garlic...

  21. #21
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    I simmer my ragu for about 4 hours. And use a 50-50 mixture of ground beef and pork. And a couple of bay leaves.

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