Baked Ziti with Pomodoro Sauce
* Avoid cast iron, or you will get a metallic taste, as the acidity in the tomatoes will leech the metallic flavor from the iron. I use an enamel-coated cookware when making tomato sauce; it handles the heat evenly with few hot spots on the bottom of the pot.
** This recipe incorporates the whole tomato; skin seeds and all. Some cooks prefer to blanch; de skin and de seed the tomatoes beforehand. This recipe does not call for that because it’s my belief that the skins and seeds hold a lot of flavor and nutrition too!
You'll Pom-ADORE-O this Sauce
Total Time: 1 Hour Servings: 4 -6 servings
Posted by Drew
Simple yet hearty, this slow cooked sauce highlights the flavor of San Marzanos, unmasked by any heavy herbs or flavorings. This sauce is a good choice for Lasagna, Eggplant Parmigiana, Baked Ziti, Stuffed Shells or Manicotti.
1-2 medium Onions (preferably Cipolline Onions; spring or cured, red or yellow) chopped roughly into smaller pieces
4-5lbs well-ripened San Marzano Tomatoes, sliced lengthwise, then into quarters.
2-4 cloves chopped garlic
Salt and Black Pepper (sea salt and freshly ground pepper recommended)
Olive Oil (extra virgin)
Heat 2-4 Tbsp Olive Oil in non-reactive* heavy stockpot or saucepan. Add the onion and adjust heat to medium and cover with lid to avoid browning. Stir once or twice while onions are softening (6-8 min) and then add garlic for the last 1-2 minutes of frying before adding the chopped tomatoes with all their juices, skins and seeds**. Add some salt and fresh ground pepper at this stage. Turn the heat to high and cook for 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking on the bottom of the pan.
The sauce will reduce and thicken and continue cooking on a med-high flame for an additional 10-20 minutes depending on how thick you would like the sauce and check and adjust seasonings (salt and pepper).
Remove from heat and let cool slightly then send the sauce through a food mill for best results. A blender, Cuisinart food processor or immersion blender will yield similar smooth results though a food mill is preferred since less air gets incorporated into the sauce so the resulting texture is superior. Return to the stovetop for re-heating before serving over pasta with fresh basil leaves and some good quality Pecorino or Parmesan cheese freshly grated.
Escarole season is just around the corner, and these bold tasting heads should be popping up in our fields (and market-stands) in the upcoming weeks. Check out a great recipe for this unique green, and get ready for a winter-time treat!