Gothic Granola

Basic Sauce & Why I Don’t Use Baking Mixes Very Often

If you have some Italian in your heritage and you have two X chromosomes, you should know how to make sauce.

And pizzelles…you should know how to make pizzelles, tiramisu, and cannoli.

basic tomato sauce vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

I don’t mean gravy (which has meat), I mean sauce, marinara sauce for pasta, pizza, and all your red sauce needs. There are some people who argue that only Roma tomatoes make good sauce, but I have had good results with a variety of tomatoes, from the regular, mystery-round “vine-on” types to cherry tomatoes.

basic tomato sauce vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

As for consistency, Ownie Mom makes chunky sauce and her mother makes smooth sauce. I prefer chunky (and separate from pasta). TC likes pureed sauce, so that is how I make tomato sauce now.

basic tomato sauce vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

Tomato sauce does not glow under a blacklight.

basic tomato sauce vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

 

Basic Red Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 8 cups tomatoes (4 16-ounce cans diced or a pile of cored and quartered fresh tomatoes of your choice)
  2. 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  3. 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  4. 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  5. 3 tablespoons no-salt-added Italian seasoning
  6. organic sugar to taste
  7. salt and pepper to taste
  8. handful fresh basil leaves, chopped into ribbons.
Instructions
  1. In a blender or food processor, blitz the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and carrot until smooth (you may have to work in batches).
  2. Add pureed mix to an 8-quart stock pot on the stove over medium heat.
  3. Cover and bring the pureed tomato mix to a boil then reduce heat to low.
  4. Stir in the herbs.
  5. Simmer for at least an hour with the lid partially opened to allow the sauce to reduce.
  6. Taste and add sugar to taste after an hour.
  7. Continue simmering for another hour or until reduced to your liking.
  8. Finish with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the fresh basil leaves.
  9. Serve with your pasta and protein of choice.
Notes
  1. I don't like sweet tomato sauce, so I usually don't add sugar at all.
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 Food from December’s Black Swan Dinner Party, Tuscan Feast edition.basic tomato sauce vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

 

Why I don’t use commercial GF baking mixes terribly often:

One, the price. The massive bag of GF baking mix I bought for the Danish project was almost $18. A bag of sorghum flour is $3.99 and a bag of oat flour is $5.99. Xanthan gum is $9-11.99. Of course GF stuff is not as cheap as wheat flour, but buying two different kinds of GF flours (about 2 lbs total) and creating your own mix is cheaper in the long run.

Two, the consistency: commercial GF mixes use too much xanthan gum. That’s why they work very well in yeasted breads since the xanthan gum, which is a binder, traps the air bubbles from the yeast reaction.

Three, the taste: Chickpea flour does not belong in brownies. Fortunately, there are a lot of alternatives now to try.

Four, nutrition: a bunch of refined starches and white flours to make GF baked goods look as “white” as traditional baked goods have even less nutritional worth than wheat flour.

basic tomato sauce vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

That BRM cup for cup baking mix is absolute CRAP for making pizzelles. I’ve made VGF pizzelles successfully twice by using my own mix of oat and sorghum flours with 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum per every 2 cups of flour. Nothing bready stuck to the iron, but this thin, sticky film formed on the grids. I had to use a butter knife to pry open my pizzelle iron and free the cookies.

Parting shots:

Grillage: tiny potatoes with rosemary in foil packets, tofu, and pineapple.

basic tomato sauce vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

Singular tastes.

basic tomato sauce vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

A taste of Montclair, NJ, all the way in Colorado!

basic tomato sauce vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

2 Thoughts on “Basic Sauce & Why I Don’t Use Baking Mixes Very Often

  1. ann kerr on 09/09/2015 at 10:16 said:

    Tomato Sauce- simmer, simmer, simmer.

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