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17 February 2011

Simple Tomato Sauce

Contrary to my 5-year old, I have problems in stopping my 1-year old from eating!  She had long abandoned the baby food even before her pediatrician officially declared that she can eat anything she wants when she turned one.  She makes it a point of eating all the courses of adult food that she sees on the table.  Even if she has been given the green light to munch on anything, I still refrain from giving her food that can get quite heavy for her age.

Ideally, steamed food with no salt is good for her but the main word is BUT.  But she loves adult food.  But after adult food, unsalted & steamed food is way too insipid. But baby food is no fun.  But everyone has interesting food on their plates & she has bland-looking ones on her plate. So there goes her baby food maker at the back of the cupboard.  There goes my long nights of cooking & stocking up on her mashed vegetables.  

Even with her adult food frenzy, I still get to feed her some healthy baby food if she eats ahead of us.  For instance, this basic tomato sauce is something that she loves mixed with any kind of pasta.  I always keep some mini containers of this tomato sauce in the freezer for emergencies. This sauce can be enjoyed by adults alike.  So for simple pasta meals, we have this. 

For the tomatoes, I use fresh tomatoes more often than the canned or bottled ones.  That way, I can easily calculate how much sauce to cook for one meal.  Usually, just 4-5 cherry tomatoes or 1 regular sized tomato.  If using fresh tomatoes, cut down the cooking time to just about 10 minutes maximum & don't forget to add some water.  The procedure to cook it is still the same as the canned tomatoes, just the cooking time is shorter.

Simple Tomato Sauce (For Any Type of Pasta or Pizza)

Serves 4
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 (425-gram) canned tomatoes
  • Pinch of dried oregano or fresh basil
  • Salt 
  • Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan cheese, grated
    1. Over medium heat, in a saucepan 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, saut√® the onion.   
    2. After about 2 minutes, pour the canned tomatoes.  
    3. Put a little bit of water in the can, swirl it to get the remaining tomato sauce then pour in the saucepan too. Let it boil then simmer for 30 - 45 minutes on low fire.  
    4. Add the oregano and salt to taste.  
    5. You can put the remaining sauce in mini containers for future use and freeze them, if you are serving baby or toddler portions.
    6. If you are using it as pasta sauce, mix with the cooked pasta. 
    7. Sprinkle with the grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan & drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.   
    8. If you are using it as pizza base, don't add the cheese & oil.