Monday, 4 January 2010

Pasta sauce redux

This takes about half an hour to make, from absolute scratch, but then you can store it for weeks, and eat off it. And it's delicious! It's cured me of my dislike for pasta and tomatoe-based sauces. Recipe courtesy the current squeeze.


A jar of meat flavoured pasta sauce OR tinned tomatoes OR fresh tomatoes.
Meatballs, or, failing which, scraps of leftover meat.
Oregano, basil (tushli--use the leaves fresh and chopped).
Salt, pepper.
Onions (red or green)--diced. Lots.
Garlic--at least five cloves, minced.
Ginger--peeled and minced (optional)
Red chillies/chillie flakes/chillie sauce.
Olive or canola/sunflower oil.

How to:

In a sauce pan, heat a little oil. Add half the minced garlic and all the ginger (if using). When they change colour, add half the chopped onions. When the onions start smelling fried, crush the meatballs and add them. Turn the flame down to medium and keep stirring, making sure the meat is well browned and softened. I add some chopped/ground red chillies at this point.

Chopped onions, garlic and ginger. Chopped/crushed meat and ground chillies.

Simultaneously, in another sauce pan, heat half or the entire bottle of pasta sauce. If using fresh or tinned tomatoes, chop them into tiny, itsy-bitsy pieces. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add the chopped tomatoes and toss them insistently till they're fried and they know it. Now add about two cups of water and bring the tomato mixture to a bubbly boil. Give one final stir, cover the skillet and simmer till an even, thick consistancy is reached. Use this as a base.

When the sauce or base starts bubbling, add the remaining onions and garlic. If using chopped chillies or chillie flakes, add them too. Add some water, stir it in, cover and cook for a few minutes so the onions and garlic melt into the thick tomato sauce.

Now, add some sauce into the meat stir-fry. Cook them together, making a rich, thich meat-tomato sauce. Add basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Fold it in well and cook for five minutes. Keep the other sauce pan cooking, meanwhile. After five minutes, add the meat-tomato sauce to the other sauce pan of boiling tomato-sauce. Cover and cook on a low flame for between five and ten minutes. Give a final stir and take it off the flame. If you want to use chillie sauce (I use red chillie sauce), you can add it while eating or you can add a dash of it at this stage.

Adding tomato sauce to the meat stir-fry and vice-versa.

The parmesan. The plate. The meal.


therapy said...

Good human being you are for the chingri. And really, every recipe's been interesting. Your biggest market is the urban bengali.

kaichu said...

this sauce should work very very well with any kind of ground meat, too. i made pasta sauce by first browning ground beef in its own fat, then adding onions and garlic, and then just dumping in tinned tomato sauce and boiling the shit out of it. and red chillies, etc of course. :) it made for awesome pasta. :)