Sunday, March 23, 2014

AKA's Tomato Sauce

            Some tomato sauces are ridiculously heavy.  Sometimes we don’t want vodka in our sauces either.  This sauce is light but tomatoey, and the bacon lends a meaty edge without being overpowering.  Crank up the flavor by roasting the tomatoes, slowly sautéing the onions until caramelized, and cooking the bacon til crispy.  The food processor will do the rest of the work.  Then season to your own taste.  You can adjust the proportions of tomatoes to onions to bacon as you like, depending on how strong you want to tomato taste to be.
Use this on pasta, as pizza sauce, and with pre-breaded chicken breasts to make super easy chicken parmesan!

2 lbs tomatoes, sliced in 1/8 in slices
8.5 oz onion thinly sliced
4-6 slices of bacon
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tbl bacon fat drippings
2 tbl olive oil
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp chopped rosemary
Black pepper
Shake of nutmeg
Two shakes of white pepper
Shake of paprika

  1. Heat the oven to 450F.  Line two baking pans with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray or olive oil. 
  2. Wash the tomatoes and slice into 1/8” slices.  I find a serrated knife works best.
  3.  Lay the tomato slices out in a single layer.  Season with salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Roast for 16-20 minutes.  You’ll know they’re done when the smallest pieces are starting to blacken around the edges and all pieces are noticeably reduced.  When done, allow to cool, and then transfer into the food processor with a flat spatula.
  4.  Cook the bacon until crispy however you usually do it.  I bake them in the oven at 400F for 12 minutes on a foil-lined pan.  Pour the drippings into a cup and save! 
  5. Pat the bacon dry, cut up with a scissors into small pieces into the food processor.
  6. Slice the onion into thin slices, about 1/16” thin, no longer than 2” long.
  7.  Melt the bacon fat and olive oil in a large skillet.  Make sure you have a lid for the skillet.  When the fat is hot, add the onions, minced garlic, and ½ tsp of salt.  Stir to coat the pieces, then reduce the heat to low and cover.   Cook for 40-55 minutes, stirring every 4-5 minutes, until the onions are caramelized and limp.  3 minutes before you’re done, add the chopped rosemary and cook at medium heat, then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, 3 minutes.
  8.  When the onions have cooled, scrape them and any juices into the food processor.
  9.  Run the food processor until the sauce is smooth.  Taste and if it’s not tomatoey enough, you may add some tomato paste to taste.
  10. Salt to taste.  Shake in some white pepper, paprika, and nutmeg, but be conservative.  Pulse to mix seasonings in.  Adjust spices to taste. 
  11.  Done!  Yum!  

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