Thursday, November 16, 2006

Napoli Sauce

My apologies to anyone of Italian extraction - I know it's not like Momma used to make.

I cook this sauce up in bulk, then use it in various other recipes like Spaghetti Bolognese, Stuffed Mushrooms, Minimal-Carb Pizzas etc. I'll post recipes for those later. I also like it as a low-carb sugar-free alternative to ketchup on steak, hamburgers and other cooked meats.

It will keep for a few days in the fridge, but I mostly freeze it in two ways. About half of a bulk lot I freeze as ice cubes which I then transfer to an old ice-cream container in the freezer for ready use. Then I can defrost the number necessary without waste, as I often cook for one. The remainder I freeze in larger 1 or 2 cup serves in plastic containers for use as needed. I always have a thawed one in the fridge for ready use as a ketchup or sauce.

All of my recipes are very flexible. In this case vary ingredients, particularly herbs, to your own taste. However, it's best to follow the recipe with a small test try first.

Base Ingredients

1 can (about 400g or 14 oz) peeled tomatoes, or fresh equivalent.
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste (optional)
1 clove of garlic, minced
olive oil
1 teaspoon of dried basil or a few chopped leaves. If you like other herbs such as oregano, thyme etc, just adjust to your taste, but basil is basic to the recipe.
cracked black pepper to taste
salt to taste

Method

Sweat the chopped onion in a large pot over medium heat until translucent but not brown. Use a little olive oil to prevent sticking to the pot.

Add the minced garlic and cook until also translucent.

Chop the tomatoes and add to the pot with their juice. For large quantities drain the liquid into the onion mix and use a processor for the solids in batches. Or, if you have a stick blender, blend it in the pot - it doesn't need to be a puree, I prefer some texture; it will also break down further as it cooks.

Add the basil/herbs and bring to a slow covered simmer. Allow to simmer as long as possible, but at least an hour, until the tomato breaks down and the onion seems to almost disappear.

Check and stir occasionally to prevent sticking; add a little water if the mixture gets too thick.
When the sauce is cooked it should be thickish but still liquid and pourable. Adjust seasoning near the end.

For a richer, thicker sauce add the tomato paste towards the finish and cook while stirring until it is cooked in. If you add it too early you will need to watch more closely for sticking.

For bulk cooking

I just multiply; usually I cook about six cans worth. How much you cook depends on the size of your saucepan/cooker and storage/freezing facilities. As you increase the quantity you may need to adjust the onion, garlic and basil quantities down a little in proportion.

Up-date May 1 2009
Nutrition Table. This is approximate and will vary a little. The total fat content is from the olive oil.

Per cup of Napoli Sauce
Calories......................140
Protein..................2.5 gm
Total Fat..................7 gm
Sat. Fat ....................1 gm
Mono. Fat................5 gm
Poly Fat....................1 gm
Carbohydrate.........18 gm
Fiber.....................9.5 gm

Bon Appetit

Cheers, Alan, T2, Australia
Everything in Moderation - Except laughter

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