Using homemade tomato sauce Essay

The DiPinto clan divides the results of its tomato sauce marathon
(see page 68) to use in favorite family recipes; these three are
samples. In the first, the sauce captures the juices of the moiist
pot-roasted prok that simmers in it; the second is a simple recipe for
eggplant parmesan. The third tailors the sauce to pasta, with the
option of adding Italian sausages. Italian Pork Roast with Olives



2 tablespoons olive oil


1 pork butt or shoulder roast, 3 to 3-1/2 pounds

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2 large onions, thinly sliced



2 cups DiPinto tomato sauce (page 69)



1 cup water



1 can (about 6 oz.) pitted green or black ripe olives, drained



Pour oil into a 4- to 5-quart pan and set on medium heat. When oil
is hot, add pork roast and cook, turning as needed, until well browned
on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove pork from pan and set aside.
Add onions to pan drippings and cook, stirring often, until onions are
limp.



Set pork on onions; pour tomato sauce, water, and olives around
meat. Cover, then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and
simmer, turning roast and stirring sauce occasionally, until pork is
very tender when pierced, 2-1/2 to 3 hours.



Lift pork from sauce and carve into thick slices or chunks; pour
the sauce into a bowl and spoon onto individual portions. Serves 6 to
8. Eggplant Parmesan



2 medium-size eggplant (1 to 1-1/4 lb. each)



3 tablespoons each olive oil and butter or margarine


2-1/2 cups DiPinto tomato sauce (page 69)



1 pound mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced



1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Trim and discard eggplant stems. Cut eggplant crosswise into
1/2-inch slices.



Place 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil and butter in each of two 10- by
15-inch pans. Put pans in a 400 [deg.] oven until butter melts. Swirl
fat to coat pan bottoms. Lay half the eggplant slices in each pan; turn
over to coat both sides with fat.



Position two oven racks a few inches above and below the middle of
the oven. Bake eggplant in a 400 [deg.] oven for 15 minutes. Turn
eggplant slices over and switch pan positions. Continue baking until
eggplant is brown and very tender when pressed, about 30 minutes longer.



Arrange half the eggplant in a shallow 2-to 2-1/2-quart baking
dish, overlapping slices as needed. Evenly distribute half the tomato
sauce, half the mozzarella slices, and half the Parmesan in layers on
eggplant. Repeat layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and
Parmesan cheese, using all the ingredients.



Bake in a 375 [deg.] oven until cheese is lightly browned and sauce
is bubbly in center, about 40 minutes. Serves 6 to 8. Italian Mushroom
Gravy with Pasta



3/4 cup dried Italian mushrooms (porcini) or cepes



Water



1 medium-size onion, chopped



1/2 cup each minced parsley, chopped celery, and chopped celery
leaves



3 tablespoons olive oil



4 cups (1 qt.) DiPinto tomato sauce (page 69)



1/4 teaspoon crushed dry hot red chillies (optional)



Salt



12 ounces dry vermicelli


About 1 cup freshly grated



Parmesan cheese



Place mushrooms in a bowl; add 3/4 cup hot water; let stand 20 to
30 minutes.



In a 4- to 5-quart pan over medium-high heat, cook the onion,
parsley, celery, and celery leaves in oil, stirring, just until the
onion is limp.



Lift mushrooms from water, draining; save water. Finely chop
mushrooms and add to onion mixture. Carefully pour most of the mushroom
liquid into pan; discard any grit at bottom of bowl. Add tomato sauce
and chilies. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover and simmer until the
sauce is reduced to 1 quart, about 45 minutes. Season with alt.



In a 6- to 8-quart pan, cook vermicelli, uncovered, in 5 quarts
boiling water until tender to bite, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain pasta and
pour onto a platter or dinner plates.



Ladle mushroom gravy onto pasta; sprinkle with cheese to taste.
Serves 4 to 6.



Italian mushroom gravy with sausages. In a 4- to 5-quart pan over
medium-high heat, brown 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds mild Italian sausages on
all sides; lift from pan. Prepare mushroom gravy with pasta as
directed, preceding, but omit olive oil; cook vegetables in the sausage
drippings. When all the ingredients for the sauce have been added,
return sausages to pan and cook the sauce as directed to serve on pasta.
Serves 4 to 6.

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