Nothing makes for a fantastic Italian dish the way a good spaghetti sauce does. While you can make a competent spaghetti sauce by following a recipe, have you noticed that there’s something just a little different about the way an expert does it? If you are curious about how to give your tomato sauce that extra bit of zing that Italian grandmothers brag about, there are some secrets that you need to be aware of!
Start With Whole Tomatoes
Despite the fact that tomatoes are a New World fruit, they have been a staple of Italian cuisine for countless years. If you want to make a really wonderful tomato sauce, always start with whole tomatoes. Chop them roughly and place them in a pot filled with water. While some people love the texture offered by tomato skin, others prefer to remove the skin before cooking. Tomato sauce made without tomato skin is smoother and slightly silky. The key to remember is that you cannot cook the tomatoes too much. Always keep water in the pot so that the tomatoes do not burn.
You should always use high-quality ingredients when you want a high-quality product. Start with fresh tomatoes that smell great. When choosing tomatoes, don’t fret over finding ones that are perfect; instead, be willing to cut out a few bad spots when the tomato otherwise looks great. Opt for an extra-virgin olive oil. Olive oil has a distinct taste that adds to the flavor profile of the sauce, and choosing an olive oil that is of a lower quality will cause that taste to be lost.
Splash of Wine
Before you start cooking anything, throw a small amount of wine into the bottom of the pot. People will argue over whether you should use red wine or white wine, but the truth is that any alcohol will do. This is called deglazing, and the effect is that your sauce will retain more of its flavor. If you are already working with great ingredients, you don’t want to lose any of that terrific taste!
When making tomato sauce, many people forget about the high amount of acid in the dish. Too much acidity creates a bitter taste, something that can even happen in commercial sauces. A few pinches of sugar can easily take care of this problem, but if you want something a little healthier, grate an entire carrot and toss it in. This takes off the bitter edge while creating a lovely rounded flavor.
If you look at the best Italian tomato sauces, you will find that they are seldom just red. A red sauce that has nothing in it can be quite dull, and if you want to give your tomato sauce a bit of zing, be sure to throw in some chopped herbs. Though you can use dried herbs, fresh herbs will have a significantly greater impact on the flavor. Chopped basil is an excellent choice for Italian sauces in general, as is chopped fennel. Some people swear by rosemary and thyme. Choose a great herb combination that you know you will like.
When you want to make a terrific Italian pasta sauce, consider some of these old trade secrets. You’ll find that using one, two or all of these tips can make an enormous difference in your sauces.
Byline: George Wilson is a foodie and enjoys social media sites like badoo.