You likely have a small can of tomato paste in your pantry that, somewhere along the path of your culinary journey, you were taught to add to tomato based sauces, maybe to thicken them up a bit or to enhance their flavor. Both of those are good reasons to use tomato paste, but here is a Food Flash: Before adding the paste to a sauce, brown it in some olive oil. Doing so causes a chemical reaction within the paste which changes its aroma and taste. The result is a cooked (versus) raw flavor, less bitter, more sweet, and a character of greater depth and structure. Scott picked up this little secret from Lidia’s Italy. Upon tasting this sauce that he put together in the above photo, I could tell right away that something was better this time. We have a couple of marinara preparations here on Platter Talk and some call for the addition of tomato paste while others don’t. Regardless, use your imagination along with your palate and try adding a little browned tomato paste to your sauce. You will taste the difference and as a result, will get a little extra wow out of your tomato based sauce.
|Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce|
|Baked Eggplant and Basil Marinara|
|Italian Turkey and Sausage Marinara|