Monday, December 22, 2014

Cooking pasta sauce with Tuttorosso

So, as you guys know, I love to cook and that was the initial reason that I started this blog way back in the day.  And although I fell out of writing about that (quite) a bit, I have a post for you today with a couple of recipes and some food talk!  The bit of a different spin is brought to you as a few weeks ago I was reached out to by a woman on the Tuttorosso company marketing team asking if I would be interested in participating in an online giveaway they were doing.

Now, I have only tried making my own tomato sauce once in my life so it is not something that I have a ton of familiarity with, but when I did it was delicious and I was eager to see what Tuttorosso suggested in their "Celebrate the Sauce" campaign celebrating home cooks, family traditions, and recipes.  I also have needed a boost to start cooking again. And finally, since I am a small time blogger over here, the fact that my name and little hole on the internet had popped up anywhere in a database of potential influential bloggers flattered me, so of course I said yes!

Not long after I received in the mail a small packet that contained some samples of their product, recipes, and an apron and wooden spoon for me to give away to a reader.  I loved the bag that the gifts came in and wooden spoons are my absolute FAVORITE things to cook with - and the perfect thing to cook sauces with.

I additionally received a number of different recipes that all looked delicious and I spent quite a bit of time browsing through to decide which ones to try.  But, for whatever reason I put off actually cooking the recipes for a while and finally before heading home for the holidays, I spent a couple hours cooking up some pasta sauces using the recipes provided by Tuttorosso and some of their product. I chose two recipes to try, what utilized 3 of their different products. Their tomato paste, peeled plum tomatoes, and tomato sauce with basil.

I made a roasted garlic sauce and a classic marinara, both of which, ended up incredibly, incredibly delicious and I will write out the recipes for you at the end.  I did make a few changes to utilize what I had on hand, and sometimes because I just didn't follow the directions well enough (in the marinara sauce you are supposed to use whole garlic cloves to season the oil, but I just chopped up garlic and threw it in without paying attention.  Woops!  This is why I don't bake.)

I started with the roasted garlic sauce - because, come on, garlic? Yum.  While roasting two heads of garlic in the oven at 400 degrees, I cooked up some chopped onion and additional garlic with red wine, Tuttorosso tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, Tuttorosso tomato sauce with basil flavoring. Then, once the garlic was soft and almost sweet and lightly browned, I squeezed the cloves out of their peels and stirred them into the sauce where it slowly (and sometimes with some prodding) melted into the sauce.

It took me quite a bit of time to get everything really integrated into the sauce.  As you can see in the picture below (on the spoon) there would be little bits of roasted garlic that I really needed to make sure was incorporated into the sauce.

But once it was?  OMG soooo good.  What I ended with was an incredibly complex and delicious sauce with a little heat, a little earthiness from the wine, and a deep, delicious roasted garlic flavor which was incredible for a garlic lover such as myself. I was really happy with how this sauce turned out and didn’t think that the next sauce I was going to make was going to be able to beat it.

I put the roasted garlic sauce aside to cool and started on the marina. Which, had less layers of flavor, so I didn’t expect too much of it, but also had a totally different style to it. It had more oil, and plum tomatoes the recipe instructed me to crush with my hands, which I did.  And then, it took quite a bit of time for the sauce to reduce down.

For a while, the sauce was looking a bit questionable and I wasn't sure what I was going to end up with.  But again, at the end, was a really delicious sauce that I had to stop myself from eating spoonfuls of.

I put both sauces right into containers in the freezer and I won't like that I really cannot wait to eat these when I get back to Atlanta!  The Tuttorosso products and recipes ended up with some DELICIOUS sauces.  Now, I question however, the amount of time that it still took to make the sauce and whether or not it compares to regular sauces.  It is definitely better than a sauce that you would get out of a jar.  However, I just figure if I am going to take the time to make a sauce from scratch (which, honestly, I am not always), I don't know why I wouldn't necessarily go all the way and make it with fresh tomatoes rather than canned tomato.  Now, I wasn't able to do a direct comparison of totally from scratch sauce vs. semi-scratch sauce with the Tuttorosso products in terms of taste and time, so I am not sure how it compares.  I can say that these made some delicious sauces and I am so excited that I have them in my freezer to use when I get back.  Complex, flavorful, and really delicious that I was tempted to (and did) eat spoonfuls of it.

So, in conclusion, let's all spend some time back in the kitchen this 2015?  I am getting really frustrated with my lack of any sort of dedication to eating healthy and my in general, out of control-ness, that I have been feeling in regards to eating and working out.  I hate to be too cliche with my resolutions, but that is going to be my main focus for the kick off to 2015 and it was fun to spend my last night in Atlanta cooking up these sauces.

And, I have an apron and spoon to give away to anyone who comments.  Will be sending it out in 2015 and will hopefully help someone else get their year off to a good start.  What are your favorite things to cook at home?  Any new recipes?  Have you done homemade sauce before?

Recipes from Tuttorosso are below! You can follow them on Facebook here.  You can head over there today or tomorrow and enter a contest to win a 12-piece Martha Stewart cookware set! 

For more recipes you can check out their website that has a ton of delicious looking things on there that makes me want to dive into the pages and eat them all (pretty much how I've been living nowadays.)

Roasted garlic tomato sauce:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and then bake for 40 minutes 2 bulbs of garlic that you cut the ends off of, drizzled with olive oil, and wrapped in tinfoil.  Garlic should be soft and lightly browned when you take it out of the oven.

While that is happening, in a large saucepan saute one large onion chopped in some olive oil, then add some chopped garlic and cook for one minute before adding a 6 oz can of Tuttorosso tomato paste, salt, pepper, half cup of red wine (while drinking a glass of course), and some crushed red pepper and italian seasoning.  Then add a 35 ounce can of Tuttorosso tomato sauce with natural basil flavor.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.

Once the garlic is out and cooled to be able to handle, squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulbs and stir into the sauce until it is melted in, simmering about 30-45 minutes.  At this point, I stopped and froze my sauce, figuring I would follow the last step of adding fresh basil, whenever I thawed and chose to eat it!

Perfect marinara sauce:
In a skillet, head 1/4 cup of olive oil and then cook some chopped garlic and then add 1 tablespoon of Tuttorosso tomato paste and one 35 ounce can of Tuttorosso peeled plum tomatos, crushed with hands.  Add in 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper.  Simmer the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally until thickened and reduced.  Season again.  At this point I stopped and froze my sauce.

1 comment:

  1. I actually just cooked my first ever bird on Christmas. And by bird, I mean a teeny tiny Cornish Game Hen. Which was terrifying. (I've been deathly afraid of raw meat most of my life and have only been working on getting over it the last six months or so. So far I have conquered frozen chicken breasts. The depth to which this feat impresses me should really frighten everyone else...!)

    This whole post made me really hungry! I had been really upset tonight and had basically given up on doing dinner already, but now I want pasta!