Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

It's no secret that I love me some garlic. Today I stumbled upon and subsequently decided to try a recipe I found on Food Network's website. Except for I forgot to write down an ingredients list before walking to the store. I kind of remembered everything, except for I didn't the correct amount of tomatoes so I was forced to halve the recipe. That's okay though since I cook only for myself.

Here is the recipe I used with my modifications in italics.

(Again, I cut the quantities in half.)

Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004
Show: Emeril Live
Episode: Holiday Food Gifts

1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (omitted because I got lazy and didn't want to mince it)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (I used a Taco Bell "hot" sauce packet, haha)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (omitted because I don't have any)
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning (omitted because I don't have any)

1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves (substituted with other random spices I had onhand)
2 (28-ounce) cans whole Italian plum tomatoes, with their juices (Used diced with basil, oregano, )
3 whole heads roasted garlic, cloves removed from peels (I used 2 whole heads)

In a large saucepan saute the onion in the olive oil over medium-high heat until soft and lightly golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, salt, balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil, and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you place them in the pan, and their juices. Stir to combine well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the roasted garlic cloves and stir to combine. Continue to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes longer, or until the flavors have come together.

Serve over pasta of choice.

Sorry for the gross cell phone picture! My regular camera is still AWOL.

Now I have never roasted garlic before and I don't recall ever making pasta sauce myself before so I'm not sure what makes a sauce good or bad. *shrug* I thought it was pretty good, but I was expecting an "in-your-face" kind of garlicky taste since there was so much in there. It was surprisingly mild. Since it didn't specify what to do with the garlic before adding it to the sauce I decided to chop it into quarters after slipping each clove out of its skin. Then when it was simmering I sort of mashed them against the side of the pot with the back of the spoon. The large pieces of garlic looked kind of ugly and seemed a bit intimidating. Biting into a smaller garlic chunk was amazing each time it happened!

The finished sauce was chunky and just thick enough. Jarred sauces always freak me out a little because they're so smooth. I think this recipe has a lot of potential. It just seems like it's missing something. I think that's where the red pepper flakes come in. Maybe I'll go out and buy some for next time. This recipe is time-consuming, but most of the time is spent simmering so you can clean up the kitchen or something while you're waiting.

A side-note: I feel sort of guilty for using one of Emeril's recipes since I sort of hate him and his show. I can't really explain it. I really don't like him, that woman from Semi Homemade (forgot her name), or Paula Deen on Food Network. I love Giada de Laurentiis, Ina Garten, and Alton Brown. Rachael Ray is awful but provides lulz. I am not familiar with any of the other people on the channel. Oh Emeril. I know he loves the garlic as much as I do, but I just don't know.

Also if you do not know how to roast garlic, you could use this recipe, but I used the one in the reviews of the sauce recipe. It's the first comment when you click on the "Reviews" button.

One more tip: If you're like me and are forced to buy tomato paste in a can rather than in a squeezable tube, you can store leftovers by dropping spoonfuls onto some wax paper and sticking it in the freezer. When it's frozen dump them in a plastic bag and keep frozen until you need some again.

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