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Lasagna – Part Two: The Sauce September 30, 2009

Posted by Peeps in Cooking, Home, random stuff.
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Hi ho, everybody!  Previously, Toys talked about how we built the filling for our lasagna.  Now it’s time for hitting the sauce.  I mean building the sauce.  Yeah, that’s it.

Okay, just as an aside.  Neither of us is overly fond of “fresh” tomato sauce.  You know what I mean.  The kind of red sauce that’s done after just a few minutes of cooking.    I’m sure that type of sauce is fine for some things, but we prefer long cooking sauces that have character.  However, since the lasagna was already taking a long time to construct, we really didn’t feel like devoting a day just for the sauce for it.  But there’s always a way around things.

We started with tomatoes from the garden.  How else?
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We’ve had a decent crop this year, and honestly we needed to get them out of the kitchen.
We decided to go with a multi-technique approach. Since the oven was already on anyway, we peeled and seeded a bunch of our Roma tomatoes and put them on sheet pans to roast.

They spent some time in a very hot oven and concentrated the flavors nicely. And now we’re ready to start.
Onions go into the pot with hot oil and some crushed red pepper. Cook until soft. Add garlic. Preferably lots of it.

Now comes the first installment of tomato flavor. Tomato paste. Straight into the pan with the onions and garlic. Let that cook for a while. Long enough to start cararmelizing the paste. Don’t burn it, but let it develop some color. And you want to get some fond on the bottom of the pan. You’ll thank me later.
Okay, time to put the fond to work. Pour in about a cup of red wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the good stuff off the bottom and into the sauce.
Next we added the roasted tomatoes as the second layer of slightly different tomato flavor.
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Next comes a jar of our home canned tomatoes that didn’t seal. We really need to get that out of the fridge.
Finally, a bag of tomatoes that Toys had dried in the oven that didn’t quite get dry enough for her purpose. Something else we managed to get out of the fridge. Woohoo!
So, now we have several different types of tomato flavor in one pot. Season with salt and pepper and some oregano. We happened to have some that I dried earlier in the summer. Cover and let it simmer and come together for about an hour or so on very low heat.
Once it was ready, I got to play with one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. The immersion blender.
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Toys prefers a chunky sauce, and I like smooth. It’s one of the few things we don’t agree on. But we agreed that for this application, a smooth sauce would be best. So, I got to play.
And that’s it. We now had a sauce that didn’t take all day to accomplish that tasted very much as though it took all day. With several interesting layers of flavor.
Phase three, the construction will be next.

Previously:  Part One: The Filling

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