Lately it's been Chef Academy! And tonight they shared a tomato sauce recipe that I just had to share with you! I usually cook (when I cook from scratch) a recipe by Mario Batali, that uses grated carrots to sweeten the base and it AWESOME....but this looks divine so do try it!
6 lb (2.7 kg) Beef or Heirloom tomatoes
4 Star anise
1 Vanilla pod
Sea salt & cracked black pepper to season
2 Sprig fresh thyme
1-2 Bay leaves
28gm bunch fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Place a heavy cast pan to heat up.
2. Wash the tomatoes and halve roughly.
3. Place into the hot pan and season with salt, pepper and a touch of sugar.
4. Add the anise and vanilla.
5. Allow the tomatoes to start to cook then press them gently with a masher to help them to release their juice.
6. Reduce the heat down to just simmering and continue for about 1-2 hours until a thickened paste. This slow evaporation of the moisture from the tomatoes will produce a deep color concentrated flavor without any bitterness.
7. Crack the garlic and add along with the basil which is just halved and throw in.
8. Combine with the warm paste and finish with a good amount of olive oil to finish the infusion. Allow to cool before storing ready for use.
• If you have added too much sugar to start this can be balanced out with a touch of vinegar.
• Always taste the tomatoes uncooked to determine their natural sweetness before you add the sugar.
• The amount of garlic to infuse with greatly depends on its strength; again make your own judgment.
• Additional seasoning such as cumin, fennel seeds, chili etc can be added this is of course personal taste again.
© 2009 CHEF JEAN CHRISTOPHE NOVELLI