Thursday, 4 August 2016

Rustic Tomato sauce (Basecicapo)

"Basecicapo" is the funny name my grand mother gave to this sauce, which is functional to remember the ingredients: the name is composed by the first two letters of each ingredient. It would sound something like baceoncato in English, but it is so difficult to say!!

It a a classic tomato sauce, which my grand mother used to make when the tomatoes were at their peak and aboundant.
Two ways to conserve them, freeze it in air tight containers or put in mason jars/bottles, seal well with new lids and boil the jar in a large pan.
This sauce is very good on whole weat pasta, maccheroni for example and will solve a mid-week dinner, when time is always very tight.
If you have a large pan, make a lot doubling this recipe, the time you need is nearly the same and you can make batches both to eat immediately and to store for a next time.

Suitable for vegetarians.

Ingredients for 6

4/6 large leaves Basil
1 stalk Celery with its leaves
1 Onion
1-2 carrots
8 medium ripe tomatoes
6-8 table spoons extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil (it depends on how large your pan is)

First of all wash and dry all your vegetables

Make a light cross on top of the tomatoes so to cut just the skin and drop them in a pan of boiling water for one minute or two and drain in a colander. Let them cool down.

Process the vegetables – except for the tomatoes and the basil leaves – in a mixer and pulse until it is evenly cut into very small pieces.

Warm up the oil in a large pan and add the chopped vegetables. Let them cook until very soft (the carrots will become yellow). Stir in now and then to cook it evenly. About 10 minutes.

Peel the tomatoes, cut them into pieces and discard as many seeds as possible.
Add the tomatoes, the basil leaves and a pinch of salt, stir well, cover with a lid and let it cook (medium heat) for about an hour stirring now and then.

The tomatoes should be very soft now, and some vegetation water should be on the bottom. Let it dry and your sauce is ready.

In the meanwhile cook your pasta in a large container full of hot salted water. Let it cook "al dente" (follow the instructions on the packaging) and drain in a colander. 

Now you can serve the sauce  as it is or process it again to make it creamier.
I think that both ways are great and the taste is not affected. Children prefer the second version.

This sauce keeps well in the fridge for about 2 days, but, as you see I choose to store it for winter.
Two simple ways:

Freeze: make batches in air tight containers and freeze (can last 6 months). Do not fill in completely to allow a slight espansion during freezing.

Sterilize : Put the sauce in a perfectly clean dry mason jar, do not fill in completely, seal well with a washed and dried new lid, and put the jar(s) in a large pan filled with water. The pan must be deep enough so that the water will aboundantly cover the lids. Bring the water to the hard boil, boil for at least 20 minutes and let the jars warm down in the water.
Dry them, label them with content and date of production.

Store in a dry cool place. Keeps well for 6 months.

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