Monday, March 17, 2014

Roasted Garlic Red Lead

As much as I pride myself on being Irish, their culinary masterpieces do not compare to the Italian’s. So as I prepare to marry an Italian man, I am starting to take my Italian cooking skills up a notch. 

On yet again another snow day, I decide that there is no better time than now to put a big pot of garlicky, pasta sauce on the stove. I immediately started daydreaming that I was back in Italy with a bottle of Chianti and a big bowl of pasta in front of me.

… and then I woke up and was back in New Jersey with a foot of snow outside my window. But at least the house still smelled good!

This is a foolproof recipe that is a mix of recipes I’ve seen on the Internet combined with family recipes. As an ode to my Irish grandmother, who's pasta sauce is the only kind my grandfather will eat, I will call this recipe “Roasted Garlic Red Lead”.  If you find yourself with a few hours to kill, and want fill up a few mason jars of pasta sauce to give to your family (or just save for later), then this is the recipe for you!

Roasted Garlic Red Lead
1 and ½ quarts (2 quart sized mason jars filled ¾ of the way)

2 (28-ounce) cans of San Marzano tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1 can tomato paste
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp hot sauce
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Pinch of sugar
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 heads of roasted garlic

  1. In a medium sized sauce pot, sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft and golden, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add minced garlic and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomato pasta, salt, balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, and seasonings, and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the cans of San Marzano tomatoes, stirring well to combine, then bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the roasted garlic, squishing the cloves from the peels. Try to break apart some of the cloves with your wooden spoon.
  7. Continue to simmer for 30-45 minutes until the flavors have come together.
  8. If you want a smoother sauce, mix with an Immersion blender for a few pulses to break up some of the tomato and garlic chunks.

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