Sunday, June 8, 2014

Tuscan Red Sauce and Yummy Gluten Free Pasta!

I've been reading an excessive number of Italian cookbooks lately, especially those about Tuscan cooking. Even though most of the books are very meat centric, I'm growing an intense appreciation for the simple preparation of quality ingredients often with limited seasonings.

I jumped in head first with my first attempt at a homemade red sauce. I felt like I was channeling someones Tuscan grandma as I hung out in the kitchen, dutifully stirring my sauce for an hour. Tasting and sniffing and tasting. I also discovered the use of San Marzano tomatoes which made a huge difference in the balance of flavors and bright red color of this sauce.
I created this for my awesome Tofu Parmesan recipe (coming soon to the blog) so I made a large batch. This will be enough sauce to make it through a lasagna or baked dish along with some extra for pasta or canning. You can also halve the recipe if you just need enough for a meal or two.

A note on the pastas I use: I have found that when I need a great quality dried gluten free pasta to stand up to a time consuming homemade meal, I spend a bit more cash and use Le Veneziane, a corn based pasta from Italy that comes in lots of cute shapes. (They haven't paid me!) The texture and flavor are amazing and a gluten eater would totally never know it was gluten free!
Fabulous! Buon Appetito!

Tuscan Red Sauce:

  • 2 cans San Marzano tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1 cup basil leaves loosely packed (10 -15 leaves)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

  1. In a large saucepan on medium heat, saute red onion in the olive oil for 4-5 minutes until soft. 
  2. Add garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes until slightly golden, not browned. 
  3. Stir in chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Turn down heat to a gentle simmer and cook sauce for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Right before serving, add basil leaves roughly torn and stir until wilted. So simple and yummy.

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