Tomato cream sauce
The addition of just a few basic vegetables and a splash of cream (okay a generous splash of cream) transforms an ordinary tomato sauce into something much more luxurious, sugo di pomodoro e panna. This is the sauce I use to dress elegant pasta dishes such as Lasagne di Crespelle with Truffled Mushrooms.
Portions: Makes about 6 cups-1.4 l
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- Two 28 oz 800 g cans whole or diced tomatoes, with their juice
- Kosher or fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup 180 ml heavy or double cream
Warm the oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot placed over medium heat. When the butter is melted and begins to sizzle, add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté, stirring often, for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. If necessary, reduce the heat to medium-low to prevent the vegetables from browning. While the vegetables are cooking, pass the tomatoes through a food mill fitted with the disk with the smallest holes. Discard the solids. Add the milled tomatoes to the vegetables and stir in 1 tsp salt and several grinds of pepper. Cover partially and cook at a gentle simmer for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are completely tender. Remove from the heat and let the sauce cool for 10 minutes. Puree the sauce using an immersion blender or a stand blender. (If using a stand blender, you will need to puree the sauce in two batches and then return the pureed sauce to the pan). Add the cream, place over medium heat, and bring the sauce just to a simmer. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if you like.
The sauce may be stored in a tightly lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If freezing, omit the cream and add it when you reheat the sauce.