Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sicilian Tomato Sauce (Page 538)


  • Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B-

This recipe was selected because it had a 15 minute Active Time. It is actually a component recipe to an eggplant dish that I will make when I have some more time -- so I made this sauce last week, tasted it, then threw it in the freezer to store until I get a chance to make the recipe that contains it! This recipe was simple enough. I cooked some tomatoes in a small amount of water until they were soft. Then I forced them through my food mill into a saucepan. I added garlic, basil, and olive oil to the pan, then cooked until it thickened a bit. I removed the basil sprigs and garlic cloves and seasoned the sauce with salt and sugar. The recipe was quick and easy, but it just wasn't that good. I was deeply optimistic -- with those ingredients how can you go wrong? Well maybe you can guess just by looking at the picture -- can you see that layer of oil sitting on top? This sauce was incredibly oily. I like oil as much as the next person -- more probably -- but when it separates out from the dish and just sits on top, it isn't so appealing. This recipe made 4 cups of sauce, and to make those 4 cups of sauce it called for 1/2 cup of olive oil. Excessive, no? I make homemade tomato sauce all the time, and a few tablespoons of olive oil goes a long way. There is no reason to bog it down with 1/2 cup of oil. Other than that the sauce was pretty good. It had a very tomatoey flavor. There wasn't a lot of depth of flavor to it, and it was very thin, so in some ways it seemed more like a thin tomato soup than what you would normally think of as tomato sauce. Overall though it was fine, and with half the oil (or less!) it might have been good. As it was though, it wasn't the best use of 4 pounds of ripe tomatoes.

This recipe isn't online.

I have to admit -- I am exhausted. I was in Michigan for the weekend, at a meeting of the American Mathematical Society. It was fun -- my talk went well, I enjoyed hearing the other talks, and I got to see some friends that I hadn't seen in a while. I drove back to Bloomington on Sunday afternoon (luckily my friend Andrew drove back with me -- I have been doing so much driving alone lately that it was a welcome change to have company!), arriving in time to plan my classes for Monday. Now I am trying to get tons of stuff done before I head off to another meeting of the American Mathematical Society this coming weekend (this time in Alabama). I will drive down there after I teach Friday afternoon and drive back to Bloomington on Sunday afternoon. It will be a fun trip but I am sure it will also be exhausting! In the meantime, I am trying to use my four days at home to their fullest advantage -- I have lots to do and traveling 4 weekends in a row makes it tough to stay caught up. I never really think about just how much work I do on the weekends until suddenly I don't have them available! So tonight, on this fine Tuesday evening, I am still in my office at 9:06pm. I don't mind working late in my office actually -- I really like the office space I have this year. It's a very comfortable space (with a sofa and all!). Plus, when I spend more than 12 hours a day at the office I bribe myself with take-out for dinner! I rarely get take-out under normal circumstances, since I have so much food at home, so a trip to Chipotle is a welcome treat!

Now, though, I am about ready to head home. I hardly made a dent in my to-do list for the week, but I did as much as I could reasonably fit in the work day, and that's worth something! Maybe I will do some more work after I shower and put on my pajamas!


Liz C said...

Cheese Louise, that's a lot of travel! Hang in there!

Teena said...

Thanks! I'm trying!