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Cooking with Julia Childs

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Sugo di Pomodoro – Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce

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Find out today how to make an authentic Italian tomato sauce as they make it in Italy. It is called “Sugo di pomodoro” in Italian. We all know how delicious such a sauce tastes together with pasta! It is the best and can be made very fast.

Standard sugo di pomodoro
This is probably the most common basic recipe of central and North Italy, and it is featured by Ada Boni in her classic cooking book Il Talismano della felicità.

Sugo di Pomodoro

Ingredients Sugo di Pomodoro

(makes enough sauce for 4-6 servings of pasta)

For the Soffritto:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped and 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Italian olive oil to taste – preferably Italian oil

800g (28 oz.) fresh, ripe tomatoes

Chopped fresh parsley and/or basil

Cooking Instructions Sugo di Pomodoro

  • Heat olive oil and sauté ingredients.
  • Spice with salt and pepper, make sure that the onions won’t get to brown.
  • By adding a spoonful water from time to time, you will prevent browning, and it will speed up the cooking process.Peel Tomatoes
  • For any tomato sauce peeling the fresh tomatoes is vital! Bring water to a boil, with a sharp knife carve a cross on the top of the tomatoes. Let them sit in the hot water for some minutes. Then peel them and cut into pieces.
  • When vegetable is soft, add chopped tomatoes.
  • Let simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is well reduced and you can see the the oil and tomato have separated.If you like a nice smooth and textured sauce, you need to pass it through a sieve or use a food mill. If you like some chunky pieces, just use as is.italian tomato sauce

Variations Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce
There are a some nice variations for this basic recipe.

  1. For a ‘sweeter’ taste you can use butter instead of olive oil or a combination of both.
  2. Make a low-calorie sauce by adding the soffritto ingredients raw to the tomato without any oil. Let simmer for 30 minutes and then pass through a sieve or use a food mill. Add a tsp or two of olive oil at the end.

Famous Sugo Recipes

Sugo scappato  – A Recipe from Tuscany

This recipe contains red wine and beef broth which is added to the soffritto before you add the tomatoes. Make sure to let each evaporate before adding the next.
Sugo scappato means “escaped sauce”. It is a meat sauce like the sugo di carne but it does not contain any meat, hence the name “escaped” sauce (scappare in Italian).

Find the entire recipe for the Sugo di Scappato Sauce here
For this  sauce use fresh tomatoes, a good handful of basil leaves. Let the sauce simmer for 1-2 hours on very low heat, then pass through a sieve or food mill. In some recipes some say it is good to add olive oil before the tomatoes, others say, don’t add any, but add the oil to the pasta.




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